Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review - Dreadnought (Clockwork Century, Book 3) by Cherie Priest (5/5 stars)

DreadnoughtReading level: Adult (appropriate for Young Adult)
Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date:  September 28th, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Clockwork Century series (5 books planned, each book is stand alone)

ISBN-13: 978-0765325785
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars

Dreadnought is the third book in the Clockwork Century series by Priest.  All of the books are separate adventures in the sames universe, so they can be read alone or together.  There are five total books planned for this series with the fourth, Ganymede, being released in fall of 2011 and the fifth, Inexplicable, being release in the fall of 2012.  This was another great addition to this series; I love the world Priest has created and it was a great read.

Mercy is a nurse on the Confederate side of the war and has just found out that her husband (who fought on the Union side of the war) has died in a POW camp.  Immediately after learning this she receives notice that her father (whom she has not seen since she was a little girl) is very sick, is in Seattle, and is requesting her presence.  Mercy decides to make the cross-country trip to the west to see her father knowing it will be a long journey.  Little does she know her journey will take her through the air by dirigible, through the front-lines of the war, and onto a fabulously dangerous ride on the train Dreadnought.

This story is about Mercy's journey and the adventure she goes through to get where she's going.  Mercy (like all of Priest's protagonists) is a tough as nails woman who does what she needs to do to get through life.  She uses her nursing skills to help those in need and to get herself through tough times.  She is a very capable, lovable, and honest protagonist.   The characters Mercy meets in her travels are all very human, complex, and interesting to read about.  I am always thrilled with how well Priest is able to give life to even small side characters.

The world of the Clockwork Century is amazing; you have a world stuck in Civil War long beyond what actually happened, strange steampunk devices created to make life easier (and more dangerous), and a strange zombie-like disease stalking the coasts of the country.  It is creative, believable, and absolutely engaging. 

Priest's writing style is just all around wonderful; she is an excellent writer.  She balances out everything so well; description, action, world-building...every book I have read of hers so far is a joy to read and this book follows that trend.  

There is a ton of action scenes in this book and they are interesting action scenes; taking place on crashing dirigibles, speeding war trains, etc.  This book ties in more with Boneshaker than Clementine (the 2nd book in the series did).  We get to see some of the original characters from Boneshaker interacting with Mercy towards the end of the book and the mysterious things that Mercy uncovers on her journey west also coincide with some of the incidents that happened in Boneshaker. 

My only complaint with this book is that I thought Mercy's journey was a bit more drawn out than it needed to be and there were a couple parts of the book that got a bit slow for me.  Because of this I liked both Boneshaker and Clementine slightly more than this book; still this book was a wonderful read.

Overall another great addition to this series.  Priest is definitely a top-notch writer and I look forward to reading her next two books in this series; Ganymede and Inexplicable.  Priest is also starting an urban fantasy series next year; the first book in it is Bloodshot and I will definitely be picking that book up as well.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge Book List
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge

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