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Dreadnought Paperback – September 28, 2010


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Dreadnought + Clementine (Novel of the Clockwork Century) + Ganymede
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Product Details

  • Series: Clockwork Century (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780765325785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325785
  • ASIN: 0765325780
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An intimate, well-crafted portrait of a nurse on a mission adds depth to this exceptional Civil War steampunk thriller, the self-contained sequel to 2009’s Locus Award–winning Boneshaker. Mercy Lynch, recently widowed and taxed to exhaustion by caring for Confederate wounded in Richmond, must cross the war-torn nation to reach her estranged father, who lies dying in the Washington territories. After her dirigible is shot out of the air, Mercy joins Horatio Korman, a Texas Ranger with an agenda, on the Union’s famous steam engine, the Dreadnought. On their trail are desperate Confederate soldiers and a zombified Mexican legion. The battles and intrigue are entertaining, but the real draw is Priest’s latest no-nonsense heroine, who comes equipped with a full measure of sharp judgment and brutal competence as well as a nurse’s kind (but not saintly) heart.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gutsy Mercy Lynch returns in this sequel to Boneshaker (2009), which begins with her working as a nurse in a Richmond hospital in a strangely extended American Civil War. Her husband has died as a Union POW, and now her father is dying in the Pacific Northwest. She sets out to reach his bedside, first by riverboat and then, from St. Louis onward, by rail. The locomotive Dreadnought is a character in its own right (which reflects the view of “high-tech” at that time), and Mercy also has to deal with hostile Indians, Union and Confederate guerrillas, just plain bandits, and some of her fellow passengers with designs on her virtue and everything else that is hers. The historical setting is finely detailed, the action is nonstop, and Mercy will engage readers of both genders. --Roland Green

More About the Author

Cherie Priest is the author of more than a dozen books, including the steampunk pulp adventures Dreadnought, Clementine, Ganymede, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor (Macmillan), Bloodshot and Hellbent for Bantam, and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, she is a newly minted member of the Wild Cards Consortium - and her first foray into George R. R. Martin's superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the frame story), debuted in 2011. Cherie's short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Subterranean Magazine, Publishers Weekly, The Living Dead 2, and the Thackeray T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. She presently lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, a fluffy young dog, and a fat black cat.

Customer Reviews

This was just a fun book to read.
William E. Wilson
Priest is definitely a top-notch writer and I look forward to reading her next two books in this series; Ganymede and Inexplicable.
K. Eckert
A few characters from previous books make an appearance here as well.
Kindle-aholic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dreadnought is Cherie Priest's follow-up of sorts to Boneshaker. It's "of sorts" because while it takes place in the same alternate America at roughly the same time period, and we see a few familiar characters (at the very end), it isn't at all a direct sequel. Instead, it introduces Mercy Swakhammer (yes, his daughter for Boneshaker readers), a nurse at a Confederate hospital during the decades-long Civil War. Early on she receives two important bits of news. The first is that her Union husband has been killed. The second is that her father is near death out in Seattle and is desperate to see her, though he abandoned her and her mother when she was but a child. The first leaves her free to do what she wishes with her life and the second propels her on a risky cross-country trip from one coast to the other. The trip is rife with adventure, involving battles, airship crashes, raids on the train she is on, zombie attacks, mysterious cargo cars, missing Mexicans, a mysterious Texas ranger, a possibly mad scientist, and the underlying question as to whether Mercy will ever make it to the other side of the country.

I thoroughly enjoyed Boneshaker, but to be honest found Dreadnought to be a bit of a slog at times to get through. I kept picking it up and putting it down, which is always a sign I'm not particularly enjoying a book, as I typically finish books in a sitting or two. If it takes me more than three days to get through a sub-400 page book, I'm just not that excited about it.

One of my issues was the pacing. The book started off a bit slow, had some rollicking moments (an airship crash, mechanical walkers), then really slowed down as we got a lot of travel plans and info, ticket buying, etc.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Baumann VINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Plot Summary: In an alternate history where the Civil War is still raging after 20 years, a Confederate nurse named Mercy Lynch learns that her husband has died prison. On the heels of that sad news, she also learns that the father who deserted her years ago is on his deathbed, and he wants to see her. Mercy is in Virginia, and her father is in Seattle, but despite the near impossibility of a cross-country journey in the middle of a war, Mercy agrees to go since she has nothing to keep her back East. On dirigibles, paddle-boats, and trains, Mercy makes the long, often tumultuous trip back to the Washington Territory, to see a man who she'd mentally written off long ago.

Dreadnought reads like the adventure of a lifetime. It's an epic, cross-country travelogue that alternates between mundane moments and nail-biting action. I think it's a terrific story, but I do think it has the capacity to disappoint some readers because it's devoid of relationships of any kind. Any connections that the heroine makes on the course of her travels are brief and transitory, and while this feels completely authentic, it subtracts from the emotional punch of the story. The lack of romance I can handle, but the lack of friendships? I think that's a minor flaw, but that's the only flaw I'm going to cite. Otherwise this story has everything I could ask for.

Mercy is a plain-speaking woman who is uneducated, and yet she's overflowing with street smarts. She's the type to keep her head in a crisis, and she can sew up a shrapnel-torn scalp in the middle of a battle. She's an admirable woman, and I'm not just saying that because she has a tendency to curse under duress, which tickles my fancy.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Musante on November 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free as part of a promotional giveaway I saw on John Scalzi's "Whatever" blog.

Second disclaimer: I'm a bit late on the "read in two weeks and review" requirement, for which I apologize wholeheartedly and unreservedly.

Dreadnought is another of Cherie Priest's books in the "Clockwork Century" series. It follows on from Clementine, and from Boneshaker, which I read about half of before giving up on. Her writing style in Boneshaker did not mesh well with my reading style, so I was curious to find out whether she got any better. Bottom line: Dreadnought is much less grating on my parsing neurons than the first one.

Let's focus on the bad, first. I still find the banal conversations to be annoying, I still am puzzled by the extreme focus on throwaway actions, and I'm still thrown out of the story when impressively lucky coincidences help our heroine along. For these reasons, I cannot recommend the book. I don't know if a conversation with a ticket agent, for example, is meant to help put me into the world, or just to make me wonder why we're focussing on such a seemingly minor character. Either way, it wasn't working for me. I see, based on other amazon reviews, that I am in the minority here. Most other people enjoyed it, with the only complaint thus far being an issue with time and distance travelled.

The good: the story was very interesting -- being my first steampunk novel mean that I was not bored with the dirigibles and the zombies -- and held me through to the end. So, if you like a good story and either don't mind Cherie Priest's writing style or actually enjoy it, then this book will work for you. I think I'll pass on the rest of Priest's oeuvre, however.
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