Steampunkery Book Review- Dreadnought by Cherie Priest

Details: paperback, 400 pgs.
Published: Sept. 28th, 2010 by Tor Books 
isbn: 0765325780 (ISBN13: 9780765325785)

Reading Level: Adult
Received from: Publisher
Series: Clockwork Century #3

Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy’s husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she’ll catch a train over the Rockies and—if the telegram can be believed—be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.

Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.

What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can’t imagine why they’re so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?

Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she’ll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.

You can find my Boneshaker review HERE.
My Thoughts:
Although set in the same world and actually taking place shortly after Boneshaker it has a completely different character that we hadn’t met yet.  We do get to see the characters from Boneshaker at the end and so for those wanting a few answers, well a few are answered anyway. 
We get to see the war torn side of the country in this one and we get to see a bit of what it probably was really like.  Although this is a fictional world and I’m sure she took some liberties with the time periods and of course the science fiction is obviously just science fiction, but the war really happened and I can imagine with a war with the north against the south of the same country there had to have been the same issues.  Mercy is a southern girl but she married a northern boy.  So while she’s a nurse for the southerner’s her husband was fighting with the north.  Just like in real life when the same families often split up and fought for different sides.  Anyway, I felt the history in this one and the underlying messages here and there.  I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. 
Mercy is a strong character with a personality you can’t help but like.  She’s a nurse and she’s not one bit squeamish, having been a nurse for one of the best known hospitals for patching up the war heroes.  And this book definitely has a bit of gore.  With Boneshaker I felt the younger people could read it but this one was more graphic for sure.  Mercy also has a strong sense of duty.  She’ll patch up anyone who needs her assistance and she’s very brave and determined.    She’s also smart and is good at figuring things out as well as reading people.  
This book had less going on then Boneshaker, or rather I didn’t feel as compelled to keep reading, so maybe there was just more breaks in the action.  Because I can tell you she certainly faced a lot on her trip west!   
There was less of the zombie stuff, but it was neat seeing her figure things out and piece the puzzle together.  Because see, there’s a bit out there that the people in Seattle didn’t know about.  Or rather it may have happened a bit after Boneshaker, I’m not sure.
I did enjoy Boneshaker more and I would say I would give it two stars more then this book.  But if I were to compare this book with my normal average ratings it’s a 4 star book.  Since I could only give Boneshaker 5 stars then it doesn’t quite match up, but I thought I would throw that in for you guys anyway, the comparison.
I’ll give this one 4/5 moons!  It’s a great read that will keep you on your toes!
I’m giving away my copy on my giveaway post here. (Ends Nov. 25th 2010)
You can find Cherie Priest on her website
You can buy from your favorite bookstore, affiliate links are on the left sidebar (and amazon below, as well),  and would love to have you use them so I can earn some commission to fund the contests on here! 
  Disclosure: I received this book for review and giveaway on my blog.  I was not paid or compensated in any way.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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