Image of Dreadnought (The Clockwork Century)


Image of Dreadnought (The Clockwork Century)

Dreadnought is part alternate history, part steampunk, a genre that involves modern technology in a 19th-century setting. Although it follows Boneshaker, which also takes place in the Clockwork Century universe, it’s a stand-alone story. Priest creates a wonderfully unique landscape on which she plots a convincing and imaginative adventure. An entertaining read and a good introduction for those unfamiliar with steampunk.

It’s 1880, and the Civil War is still going on. Nurse Mercy Lynch is working at a hospital in Richmond, Va., when Clara Barton brings her bad news: Mercy’s husband died in a POW camp. Then she gets a telegram from the West Coast informing her that her estranged father is gravely injured. He wants to see her and Mercy leaves, taking a Tacoma-bound train pulled by a Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. The train is carrying mysterious cargo, and things get even more dangerous when they’re attacked by Rebel soldiers. (TOR, Sep., 400 pp., $14.99)
Reviewed by: 
Gail Pruszkowski