Tor Books – September 29, 2009
While most of the United States is suffering from the ravages of the Civil War, Seattle, Washington is dealing with something even deadlier – zombies (a.k.a Rotters).
Sixteen years have passed since the terrible event occurred, destroying Seattle, Washington. Sixteen years since Dr. Blue unleashed his amazing Boneshaker underneath the city. Still, to this day, people don’t know if it was an accident or intentional, but the results are all the same. The Boneshaker, intended to dig through the ice of the Alaskan tundra for gold, instead, tore through the rock underneath Seattle itself – caving in much of the city and releasing a mysterious, slow-moving gas at the same time. The gas, eventually named blight, infected those who were unfortunate enough to take it into their lungs. The city attempted to stop the gas from spreading by constructing an enormous wall around the main devastation and eventually were able to stop it. Now most people live right outside the wall in what is called the Outskirts – including Dr. Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes, and the son he never even knew he had.
Briar and Zeke eke out a living in the Outskirts. Life isn’t easy since they always carry around the stigma of being related to the man who caused all the city’s problems. Zeke is determined to know more about what when on inside the city during the disaster, but Briar is reluctant to tell him everything about it. As his frustration grows, he beings to make plans to sneak under the wall and into the city to find out what he wants to know for himself.
When Briar realizes Zeke has gone into the most dangerous place possible, she immediately gathers supplies and goes to find him. Both come into contact with strange and dangerous characters – not to mention the Rotters.
Readers will be exposed to zombies, pirates, amazing contraptions, and the complicated systems necessary for survival inside the wall. Honestly, it is mind boggling. The imagination required to write such a book is amazing! Cherie Priest deserves kudos for crafting such a unique book. This, truly, is a great addition to the steampunk genre.