Normally, I'm a little wary of genre mashups, as most of the ones I've read tend to be long on the novelty of the thing and short on actual storytelling. When a copy of Cherie Priest's Boneshaker came through the Teen department, I hesitated... but I'm happy to report that not only is Boneshaker an excellent steampunk adventure, it's also a great zombie apocalypse yarn. In an alternate history Civil War-era Seattle, crazed inventor Leviticus Blue is comissioned by the Russians to build a gigantic steam drilling machine to mine for gold under the Alaskan ice. On its trial run, however, Dr. Blue's Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine demolishes several blocks of downtown Seattle and in the process exposes a subterranean pocket of gas that turns anyone who breathes it into walking, flesh-hungry "Rotters". Sixteen years later, Dr. Blue's widow Briar journeys into the walled-off ruins of old Seattle to find her teenaged son, who's out to clear his grandfather's name. What follows is nonstop action and adventure, complete with zeppelins, air pirates, clockwork armor, mad scientists and hordes of the walking dead!
While Boneshaker could have turned out poorly like so many other slapdash crossovers, instead it's well-written with a likeable cast of characters and a gripping storyline. Plus, it's simply a stupid amount of fun. Highly recommended!