Reading Level: Adult (fine for YA too!)
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 4th book in the Clockwork Century series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the fourth book in the Clockwork Century series. It is a well done steampunk novel, but I had some trouble connecting with the main characters and staying engaged in the story.
The main character Wreck, is a sap-addicted orphan who’s been thrown out of the orphanage after turning 19. He decides to head beyond the Wall to Seattle to try and find a job dealing sap. When he gets there he meets Zeke and Huey and ends up wrapped up in an adventure to save the city and discover what a strange creature haunting the night really is.
This is very well written but just wasn’t that engaging to me. Wreck is not a likable character; he is lazy and likes to take advantage of people…this made him hard to engage with. While it was nice to see Zeke in the story (he was in Boneshaker) I still had trouble engaging and relating with any of the characters in this story.
The story moves slowly and it takes quite a while to get to the point of the story. I just had a lot of trouble staying engaged in the story up until the last fourth of the book or so. My mind kept wandering. The first part of the book is basically about Wreck getting past the Wall and finding his way around Seattle amidst the zombifying gas and different factions.
This book is very steampunk; you have zombies, gas masks, steam driven power, and all things steampunkish. Priest is always spot on with the steampunk elements of her books.
The story is fairly predictable and, as I mentioned, I had a tough time staying engaged in what was going on. When it came right down to it the mysterious zombie disappearances and the mysterious creature in the night just weren’t enough to really drive this story and keep it interesting.
Overall an okay steampunk read. I thought earlier books in this series were better. Still, if you are a huge steampunk fan you might want to give this a read. The main character is just very hard to relate to. I’d recommend reading Boneshaker over this book, I would also recommend Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series as an excellent steampunk read.