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A Great World, a Very Safe Story
on October 17, 2011
I'm a big fan of the Clockwork Century world. I don't get caught up in the little differences between its history and geography and reality. Boneshaker is one of my favorite books, and I was glued to Clementine and Dreadnought. I was very excited for Ganymede.
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.