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A Reader of Fictions: Clementine - The Decemberists

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Clementine - The Decemberists

Clementine
The Clockwork Century, Book 2

Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: steampunk
Pages: 205

Brief Summary:
Contrary to my expectations, the Clockwork Century books are related stories with some characters making reappearances, so Briar and Zeke did not make reappearances. Clementine follows Captain Croggon Hainey, who appeared in Boneshaker, and his crew still trying to recover his ship, Free Crow, which was stolen in the first book. The chapters alternate between him and a female Confederate spy, Maria Boyd, who has taken a job at Pinkerton's in Chicago. Her first assignment is to keep Hainey from catching his ship, which has been renamed the Clementine, because the ship is carrying something vital to the Union.

Review:
First of all, I have to mention how difficult it was to figure out what was up with this book. I checked my book sites when I was starting to read Dreadnought and they all said it was book three in the series. But where's book two?, I wondered. I checked my local library (nope), I checked Barnes and Nobles' site (uh uh) and I checked Amazon (yes, but only if I want to pay fifty bucks for a two hundred page book. A little more research turned up the fact that for some reason Tor did not want to release the second book, so it went somewhere else, thus the lack of availability and the expensiveness. At any rate, since I cannot stand to read series out of order, I purchased the Kindle copy for $2.99, which seems to be the only realistic way to read this book. Crazy!

The story was, as mentioned before, fairly brief. It should not have been in any other way. As it is, it sets and maintains a good pace. It fills a bit of a gap from the first book. It's nice to see an author following a dangling plot thread, rather than leaving you wondering why his ship got stolen in book one other than to give a bunch of airmen a reason to be on the scene in Seattle. Much like in the first book, the characters still lack a bit of depth, but they are slightly improved.

The best thing about Cherie Priest's books though are her kickass women. Maria Boyd, in my opinion, puts the ladies of Seattle to shame, because she is smart, strong and willing to do whatever she has to in order to get her way. Action and gunfights abound and Maria is often right in the middle of them.

Fun bit of wordplay:
"'That's big of you,' Maria said dryly.
'I'm glad you approve,' he responded with equal lack of humidity."
Oh, that's great. Lack of humidity! It's such a terrible joke (which is why I love it)!

A fun second book for the series, quick and easy, like sorbet or crackers to cleanse the palette after a course in a meal or wine tasting.

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