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Ganymede Paperback – September 27, 2011
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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“An intimate, well-crafted portrait of a nurse on a mission adds depth to this exceptional Civil War steampunk thriller.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Dreadnought
“Dreadnought offers plenty of fun: fast-paced battle scenes, thundering locomotives and the gem of the book, its heroine. Vivid, believable and endearingly stubborn, she's an enjoyable companion for those taking the time to read a book which challenges the notion that steampunk must assume Victorian attitudes with its goggles and corsets.” ―Seattle Times
“Boneshaker is without a doubt Cherie Priest's breakthrough work: this hollering, stamping, crackling thing is the best fun you'll have with a book all year.” ―Warren Ellis
“A propulsive, breathless read, an action movie that tears across the country, stopping just long enough to take snapshots of the race and gender politics of the time, to put a human face on history.” ―The Stranger on Dreadnought
About the Author
Cherie Priest is the author of Dreadnought and Boneshaker, which was nominated for a Nebula and Hugo Award, won the Locus Award for best science-fiction novel, and was named Steampunk Book of the Year by steampunk.com. She is also the author of the near-contemporary fantasy Fathom, and she debuted to great acclaim with Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Wings to the Kingdom, and Not Flesh Nor Feathers, a trilogy of Southern Gothic ghost stories featuring heroine Eden Moore. Born in Tampa, Florida, Priest earned her master's in rhetoric at the University of Tennessee. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Aric, and a fat black cat named Spain.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway Ganymede and the rest of Clockwork Century storyline is quite a bit more than that. The alternate world she is creating and its opposing views, revised history and different characters are intriguing. Yankees, Confederates, swamp guerilla fighters, heart of gold prostitutes, air pirates, Texicans and zombies, it's all cool and it's not in England. Nothing against the English but Jules Verne was French and The Wild Wild West was an American pre-steampunk production. Cheri Priest's works are different and so far I've liked them. The stories seem to be getting stronger at least in the extended American Civil War arena that she is crafting. I also like the fact that her version of steampunk is mostly technical as opposed to magical.
I do agree with C. Barnes as to the lack of character conflicts. Everybody seems to get along just a little too well. The story was too "safe" as far as character interactions. I do like the characters; she has definitely crafted her characters well and gives them their own "voice." But I think their "voice" would be portrayed stronger with more adversity and interpersonal friction to address. A giant white man and his crew are accepted into the inner circle of a group of rough and tumble black guerilla fighters, surrounded by white enemies like Johnnie Rebs and Texicans, just a little too easily. There was just not enough friction between the characters. It's like a John Carter of Mars story where the good guys almost automatically size each other up, shake hands, pledge an oath against evil and join forces, despite the backdrop of historical controversy that was overlaid in the previous chapter. The interpersonal tension was pretty low with everybody from different backgrounds and agendas easing into joint alliances over a cup of coffee and polite conversation.
It does beg to shake the whole suspension of disbelief but the smoothness of the wordsmithing seemed to allow the reader to gloss over it without jarring the story too much with one exception. There is an issue over a torn dress and a gun pulled between the two main characters in the middle of a life and death struggle, which just felt like an insert to make a point on a social issue. The scene was out of context for the situation that the characters were in. I wasn't opposed to the message that Cheri Priest was "getting out there" I just felt the subplot discussion was surreal to the rest of the situation. There was never a sense that one main character was really going to kill the other main character. It was just a quick conversation at an inappropriate time to address a non-critical matter. It was also an example of how the tension/conflict level between the characters could have been pushed a little further if it had occurred elsewhere in the story.
Still I like the fact that the story left Settle and gave us a look at another part of Clockwork Century. I understand that Cheri Priest's heart is in Seattle but here it's just a walled off forgotten city with a small underground society under a perpetual toxic gas cloud that, from the teasers, may have infected the rest of the world with zombies. Go Seahawks.
When I finished reading I was still excited. It was a good, fast read. But, as I reflected on it in the following days I realized it was a very "safe" story. In many circumstances when the author has a chance to introduce conflict or some other form of Murphy's law, she simply didn't. I equate it to watching a suspenseful movie... and your thinking to yourself (or yelling at the television), "No! Don't go in there!". This book is written such that they didn't "go in there". The main characters in the book rarely encountered adversity, always made the right choices, and the story concluded. It would have so much more interesting of they had "gone in there".
In addition to the safe story line, there are many characters introduced (or carried over from previous books) that simply don't matter. There is a Voodoo Queen that is described as foreboding and dangerous, but you don't get any of that. A new Texian general comes to town, but doesn't really make any problems. A life-long friend is introduced and then forgotten. And a familiar Texas Ranger enters the story only to do nothing (but maybe set up another book - which I'll eagerly read).
Now, the story does give us a little more of Briar Wilkes and son, you get some more from Mr. Swakhammer and daughter, and you find out that post-Boneshaker Seattle is the same, but different. But, don't get your hopes up, you only get little teasers then it is off to New Orleans for a novel-long story that maybe should have only been a chapter or two in a different book.
You're going to read this book because you are a Cheri Priest fan. And, you're going to like it. I did. I initially rated it very high. But then I wondered about the purpose of the Voodoo queen, the best friend, the Texian general, and our friend the Texas Ranger. To be fair to the other wonderful Clockwork books, I brought the stars down a few on Ganymede.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
and if the previous books are any indication I won't be disappointed by the ending
After I read and fell in love with Cherie Priest's "Boneshaker," I decided to hunt down and read the other books in...Read more