Review originally posted here
.Why I Read It:
, so I jumped right into the sequel as soon as I could.This is going to be a relatively short review because I actually read this quite awhile ago, but suffice it to say that I really enjoyed this installment of the Clockword Century series.
One thing I'm growing to love about this series is that Priest features strong female characters, but they're strong in different ways. Briar is more of a "run in with guns blazing" kind of strong, while Mercy has a more quiet inner strength. She's obviously affected by the recent death of her husband, and while she doesn't bottle up her pain, she certainly deals with it head-on in an admirable manner. There's also the fact that she goes through hell and back to get across the country to her dying father, but she deals with every problem with aplomb, and a fierce kind of grace. She's a super cool lady and I loved her.
I love that the alternative civil war world Priest introduced to us in Boneshaker is further expanded and developed in this installment. We get to actually see a bit of the East and see some of the war first-hand. The steam-punk elements continue to be pleasantly subtly instead of glaringly in your face, and compliment and build upon the world instead of feeling tacked on. Actually, there were hardly any steampunk elements in this installment at all, minus the Dreadnought train and the few Walkers (mechs basically) used by both sides in the war efforts.
The plot is actually kind of slow moving when you think of it; it has a lot of Mercy being bored while riding the train, but it's only slow-moving in a way that's realstic. When you're stuck on a train for weeks on end, you're going to be doing a whole lot of nothing. Thankfully though, there's plenty of action (train heists!) to keep things rollicking and interesting. There's also a bit of a mystery going on, but if you've read Boneshaker, you'll know what's going on immediately. This isn't a BAD thing though; Priest doesn't present this element like a mystery for the reader, only for the characters, and watching them put the pieces together and come to answers in their own way was well written and executed. I also know there was some crossover with Clementine, but I have yet to read that, so I didn't spot them.Final Verdict:
All in all, it was a good time and I'm excited to get my hands on a copy of Clementine
. This world is so much fun and I love Priest's strong female characters. The steampunk elements continue to be minimal, but perfectly complement her growing Civil War America. I strongly recommend this to fans of alternative history and steampunk (though the two usually go hand-in-hand anyway).