Sunday, September 26, 2010
Clementine by Cherie Priest
This is a chase novel. One main character, Captain Beauregard Hainey seeks to recover his stolen property, a war dirigible. Another character, Maria Isabella Boyd, must make sure the stolen dirigible, the Clementine reaches its destination. This creates opposing chases.
The characters are also described in opposition. Captain Beauregard is an African American air pirate, arms smuggler, and wanted man. Maria Isabella Boyd is an ex-confederate spy hired by the Pinkertons. This makes for a novel with strong clashes.
The clashes between the opposing sides happen at a whirlwind pace. The reading is as fast as the storyline. It is nonstop action mixed with intrigue; aerial dirigible battles, dirigible hijackings, and quick thinking.
The setting is a steampunk version of the American civil war replete with clockwork technology. The book makes some references to her previous novel, Boneshaker, but it is not necessary to read it to understand the action. There are a few cliches in the novel like a man portable gatling gun and a diamond powered deathbeam. This is the only real flaw I found in the writing.
I sat and read the book on the train home, then finished it that same night. It works very well as an action novel. If you want a couple days worth of fast paced escapism, this novel is worth reading.