- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Subterranean; Deluxe Hardcover Edition edition (July 30, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596063084
- ISBN-13: 978-1596063082
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Clementine Hardcover – Unabridged, July 30, 2010
From Publishers Weekly
Piracy meets politics head-on in this steampunk thriller, loosely linked to Priest's much-lauded Boneshaker (2009). Maria Isabella Boyd, a notorious former actress and Confederate spy, is on her first mission for the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. The airship Clementine must deliver its cargo unimpeded, but its former owner, escaped slave–turned–air pirate Croggon Hainey, is determined to recover the ship he stole fair and square. A simple pursuit quickly evolves, and soon Maria and Croggon are forced to fight on the same side. Explosive battle scenes, riveting action, and a sharp-eyed examination of the mistrust between Croggon's all-black crew and very white, very Southern Maria play out in a desperate race against the clock. Though the unflinching portrayal of complex race relations is aimed at adult readers, Priest's swashbuckling tale is also quite accessible for older teens. (June)
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Top Customer Reviews
The story flips between two perspectives which are both uniquely idiosyncratic and well developed in their own right. The stars are airship captain and escaped slave Croggon Hainey and former confederate spy and patriot Maria "Belle" Boyd. Both are something of a living legend or menace in this world depending on what side of the fence your are viewing from. Neither take crap from anyone.
Croggin is chasing after his airship the Free Crow, which was nefariously stolen from him in Seattle. Belle is sent to ensure the Free Crow reaches its destination without Croggin's interference. Belle is actually based on a true person of the same name who acted as a spy for the Confederate army. Priest builds on her history to create a very determined and dangerous character very much true to life. Clementine's greatest strength is the dialog of the main characters. Each has their own style that colors the characters perfectly.
Clementine is a much more subtle story than Boneshaker, but it is no less enthralling as every chapter moves at a brisk pace. Airship fights, spies, thieves, and giant guns all make Clementine a seriously steam-powered wild ride through the sky, which showcases a larger part of Priest's Clockwork Century fractured North America.Read more ›
Clementine is a lean, mean adventure novel. While there is a small supporting cast, Priest focuses on two main characters. Pirate Croggon Hainey is determined to get his airship back. He's willing to undertake a violent cross-country chase if that's what it takes. Belle Boyd, former Confederate spy turned Pinkerton agent, is assigned to stop him and make sure that the ship's cargo arrives in Kentucky.
Priest's narrow focus means that the short length of this novel does not work to its detriment. She develops the two protagonists and has plenty of room for their fast paced adventures. The plot moves swiftly, & is surprisingly compelling given its simplicity.
While not as significant as Priest's other Clockwork Century novels, Clementine is an entertaining read and adds more depth & texture to the world she has created.
Although this can more or less be read as a standalone, it was nice to see mentions of characters and events from the other two "Clockwork Century" titles that I've read so far, and I'm sure there will be similar tie-ins in the remaining installments. I would love to see Priest's "Clockwork Century" on the big screen someday, and Clementine would probably be a great jumping-off point.
From the start, when Maria is introduced as the Pinkerton detective assigned to reel him in, it is made clear that Hainey has done some bad things to earn his reputation - bad enough that Maria's orders are clear, she may slay him or capture him and return him to the South, whatever she wishes so long as he doesn't get back his stolen ship. These two characters are what the story revolves around, and halfway through they fall flat.
*** SPOILERS ***
Hainey's fall from the reader's grace occurs when he mows down in cold blood a crowd of dockyard workers, men whom are only trying to prevent his crew's theft of a docked zeppelin. He doesn't fire at their feet or scare them into submission, any of the usual tropes we normally indulge an author. It is really hard to sympathize with this character after that point - there's a fine line between Han Solo mowing down Imperials, and a man mowing down innocent dockhands. There is a similar killing of an innocent Chinaman in Boneshaker, and Priest handles that scene and its aftermath very well. She makes it a very revealing moment for both characters involved. Priest breezes past Hainey's murders under the guise of self/crew-defense, and it is simply not consistent with the character we had seen or hoped for up to that point - there is no regret or guilt felt.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story is fast paced with wonderful characters and a great plot. Fun to read and quite enjoyable! I definitely recommend it!Published 3 months ago by Lauren
This booj is labeled "A Novel of the Clockwork Centrury." There is, however, no Novel here. There is a succession of scenes of pointless violence -- anonymous bystanders... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Priest writes memorable characters and great dialog. Her alternate universe is really interesting and it's the common thread in the stories. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Carol Dodd
This book had a little bit of everything except romance. The characters were well defined, the plot was good, and the ending was very satisfactory. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kindle Customer
Cherie Priest is superb at spinning her stories. They are expertly interwoven. The connections are surprising, but logical. Very enjoyable reading.Published 18 months ago by Nora Crady
A little slow at the beginning, but still an interesting and enjoyable book. However, I wish it had been longer and more detailedPublished 21 months ago by Dianne Rubinstein
I liked it but it wasn't the best in the series. Seemed more like a filler novel than part if the storyPublished on June 6, 2014 by Amazon Customer