The Clockwork Century - Book #1
by Cherie Priest
This story has come up on my Amazon recommendations a million times, and I'm a sucker for steampunk, so I figured why not. I thought this would be more secondary world fantasy, but it turned out to take place in Civil War America out west in Seattle. A man named Leviticus Blue builds a machine known as The Boneshaker that drills underneath Seattle, wreaking havoc and unleashing a mostly invisible gas known as The Blight. With enough exposure to The Blight, a person turns into a zombie. The people enclosed the city of Seattle into a giant box, and then skedaddled.
The story follows Briar Wilkes, the wife of Leviticus Blue, and Ezekiel (Zeke) Wilkes, her son. Zeke is convinced that his father is innocent, so he rushes into Seattle to prove it... and of course Briar must chase him, to save him from the rotters (zombies) and whoever else is crazy enough to live in the city.
The characters are zany, the world is immensely creative, and the sense of suspense increases throughout the book. There are a few "twists" that you can see coming a mile away, but for the most part, I found myself enjoying it. That said, I'm not a huge horror fan, and if I had known there were zombies in it, I probably wouldn't have picked it up.
But if you're not sick and tired of zombies and are looking for a new series to start, this one ain't bad. Two thumps up.