My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve just written in my review of Clementine that given how much I loved Boneshaker, the first book in that series, it’d be extremely difficult for any followup book in the series to measure up. Happily, Dreadnought, Book 3 of Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, has done just that.
As with Clementine, this is a sequel to Boneshaker mostly in the sense that it’s set in the same universe. But unlike with Clementine, Dreadnought has a character in it directly related to one of the Boneshaker cast–in this case, the nurse Mercy Lynch, who is the daughter of Jeremiah Swakhammer. Mercy learns of the death of her husband in battle and of her estranged father’s being gravely injured and ill in a one-two punch at the beginning of the book. And, with great reluctance, she sets off across the country to fulfill her father’s wish to see her.
And make no mistake, this is a rollicking adventure of the first order, especially once Mercy makes it to the titular train, the Dreadnought, which will be her mode of transport for most of her journey. It’s on the Dreadnought that she’s embroiled in intrigue between the Union, the Confederacy, and the independent republic of Texas–this last embodied by the Texian Ranger Horatio Korman, with whom she joins forces when it becomes increasingly clear that the mysterious cargo in the train’s final car may be putting all their lives at stake.
If you’ve read Boneshaker, it won’t be any stretch at all to imagine what’s in that car.
The trip builds excellently, up until the reveal of what exactly happened to a missing regiment, and how that regiment eventually reaches the train. Great, great fun all around. Five stars.