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A Reader of Fictions: Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne

The Clockwork Century, Book 3

Cherie Priest
Genre: steampunk
Pages: 400
ARC Acquired From: Goodreads First Reads

Brief Summary:
Vinita Lynch, a nurse, called Mercy by her patients, works in a Reb hospital in Richmond. Her husband, born in Kentucky, fights for the Union. She gets word that her husband has passed on right about the time she hears that her father, who she has not seen since she was a child, is dying out in Washington state. Although not initially inclined to go see the man who deserted her and her mother, she ultimately decides to go, partly because she needs to do something. Well, she has lots of excitement to take her mind off of the death of her husband on her journey west. There are dirigible crashes, battles, war wounds, attacks on trains and zombies all trying to keep her from making it to Washington alive.

Cherie Priest's books are really interesting and her diction and syntax excellently crafted. I have now read three of her books and I still feel like there is something missing. Maybe it's that there is never a single bit of romance; there are not even any married couples still happily together. I do not think every book needs romance, but it does seem odd that in a series of three books there would not be a single instance of attraction or a relationship. The closest to a relationship is Mercy and her husband, who never makes an appearance except in death. The main characters do not even have to be the ones; how about a couple of side characters leaving together or hooking up or something? It just struck me as weird.

Or maybe what's missing, in this book for certain, is the overarching plot. Technically, there is one: Mercy journeying to her father's bedside. Except that the book does not feel like it is actually in any way about that. At all. When Mercy arrives at said bedside, the book ends promptly. And by promptly, I mean in a page and a half. All of the drama was supposed to be to bring these two characters back together, but obviously it wasn't. It makes it quite apparent that the frame was tacked on at the end as an excuse to make the character take this trip across country. Is that bad? I think so, because it lends the whole book a sense of unreality. What was the point?

Characters from Boneshaker make an appearance in this book, although I would say it's more of a cameo than even a supporting role. As with the previous books, the women are strong, the men are too, the zombies are hungry and the scientists are crazy. While I like these books, I cannot pretend that I don't wish they were just a little bit better.

Heirs of a cold war
That's what we've become
Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
Crazy, I just cannot bear
I'm living with something' that just isn't fair

Mental wounds not healing
Who and what's to blame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

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