Briar Wilkes, daughter of a folk hero and widow of the criminal mastermind responsible for the zombie plague, embarks on a rescue mission when her teenage son Zeke sneaks into the walled city of Seattle.

Briar & Zeke must navigate the underground labyrinth Seattle has become, decide who they can afford to trust, and stay alive long enough to find each other & get back home safely.

Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker came up first when I searched ‘Steampunk’ on Audible. I’ve been trying to read and watch more Steampunk lately, to get a better idea of the genre hopefully some inspiration for The Paradise Swarm.

I remembered hearing very positive feedback about Boneshaker on a couple of podcasts I follow, I really loved the cover, and saw that Wil Wheaton was one of the narrators. That’s pretty much all it takes to make me click ‘Add to basket’, Wil Wheaton is a damn good narrator, and did I mention the cover?

The story is extremely engaging from the beginning, Briar’s very relatable motivation to find her son brings urgency and tension to the narrative, and the cluelessness displayed from Zeke’s point of view only reinforces it. This is the book for you if you want to read dual point of views, deceiving appearances and partly unreliable narrators done right.

There is a great other-wordly dimension to the setting throughout, plus a rich and intriguing lore, supported by airships, gas masks, pirates, mechanical body parts, evil geniuses and zombies galore.

The cast of secondary characters was impressive, and I especially loved the moments when neither the reader nor the character knows who to trust for certain.

I was especially struck by the feeling of imminent danger that was ever present throughout the book from the setting and environment. Most of the action takes place in tunnels underneath the city, as the simple act of going above ground is so dangerous. The idea that walking in the street is such a deadly enterprise particularly inspired me to ramp up the tension and danger in my own writing.

I am now waiting impatiently for my next Audible credit so I can buy the sequel, in which we follow an airship captain.