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Rector "Wreck 'Em" Sherman is an 18-year-old dealer of and addict to sap, a narcotic distilled from the poisonous gas that destroyed the walled-in city of Seattle. Six months after the events of Boneshaker (2009), Rector has no prospects and is haunted by the phantom of a boy he's sure he sent to die. He finds his way into Seattle, inhabited now by zombies, criminals, and the Doornails, stubborn holdouts who have scraped out a tenuous existence in the ruins, and is quickly enmeshed in strangeness and trouble as people are stalked by a monstrous being, and out-of-town criminals try to take control of the city and the sap trade. Rector's story is an old-fashioned boys' adventure, and Priest's alternate 1880 is as intriguing and enjoyable as ever, but the pacing is slack, and Rector is a more passive protagonist than the vibrant leads of her other three Clockwork Century books. Newcomers would be advised to begin at the beginning. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, the Donald Maass Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
The latest installment of Priest's steampunk series, Clockwork Century, returns to the alternate Civil War-era American landscape she introduced in Boneshaker (2009). Her eccentric protagonist this time is Rector Sherman, who, at 18, has just left the only home he's ever known, an orphanage just outside a toxic, gas-infested, late-1800s Seattle. Hoping to eke out another few years of existence by selling and using sap, the area's gas-derived drug of choice, Rector scales Seattle's imposing walls and seeks out the ruined city's criminal underworld. Aside from making a living, Rector is also hunting the remains of his old friend, Zeke Wilkes, hoping Zeke's troublesome ghost will finally let him be. Yet not only is Zeke very much alive but the reunited pair must contend with a cross section of Seattle's worst elements, including the zombie-like inexplicables and a band of sinister gold prospectors. Priest's narrative has all the compelling ingredients that keep the steampunk subgenre going, including riveting characters; a vividly realized, atmospheric setting; and a well-told story of adventure.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2010 Booklist