Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today's review of Dreadnought, by Cherie Priest, comes from Paul Aridas. Enjoy...

In this sequel to Boneshaker, (previously reviewed here), Cherie Priest returns to the Steampunk world of Civil War America.  Except it’s East Coast Civil War America, where the edition of  Mercy Lynch, nurse-heroine-extraordinaire,  creates a completely different—albeit equally appealing—perspective of this unique world.  Cherie isn’t quiet Briar Wilkes, but she maintains a robust disposition whenever adversity strikes, repeatedly endearing her to the reader.

As Mercy embarks on a scandalously solo cross country trip to visit her dying father, she meets a cast of characters whose veiled motivations complicate her simple goal to reach Seattle. Mercy allies herself with a Texan named Horatio Korman, and together they begin to unravel the uncertainties and dangers emerging on their locomotive.

Intriguing as these relationships are, the story wanes in the middle. The perpetual threat of the Shenandohah, an enemy train, and the never-ending speculation about the mysterious cargo aboard the Dreadnought become redundant. Since the vampiric complications of gas, blight, and yellow tar addiction are just emerging on the East Coast, they are new to these characters…but not for readers who devoured Boneshaker----those fans will wish Priest had opted for tighter editing within these chapters. 

In the end, the book concludes brilliantly.  It’s worth finishing the novel to enjoy the moment when Mercy meets Zeke and Briar Wilkes, plus Lucy O’Gunning, and Andan Clay. It’s a reunion that hopefully foreshadows another steampunk novel set in this world.

~Paul Aridas

As always, thanks for reading. Questions and comments are encouraged below.
-Adam Delaura