Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Kate Milford's The Boneshaker

So after helping Kate Milford with her wonderful KickStarter Campaign, I am reviewing the first novel in the series, The Boneshaker, illustrated by the talented Andrea Offermann. In the near future, I will also be reviewing The Broken Lands and it's companion novel, which the KickStarter Campaign funded, The Kairos Mechanism - both of which are out in September.

And after reading The Boneshaker, I can't wait to get my hands on them.

First of all, the genre. This is a tricky one. It's a YA, dark fantasy, clockpunk, gothic amalgamation set in an alternative universe version of America after the Civil War (or 'The War Between States'). It's very strange, very dark, very chilling. There are deals with the Devil, automata which never wind down, and strange visions of the past. It's just simply brilliant.

The main character, Natalie Minks, is a twelve-year-old girl who, after becoming caught up in many things she doesn't understand, shows evil it's place. If I had read this book a few years ago, she may well have been a girlhood hero - she's fierce, intelligent, determined. And she suits the book perfectly.

Best of all, for me, were the book's clockpunk elements. Some have described the book as steampunk - but it's definitely more gears and springs than coal and steam. From Natalie's beloved bicycle to the tiny automata, the intricacy of the descriptions left me with a buzz of excitement.

Finally, we have Andrea Offermann's fantastic illustrations - they work so well alongside the story and are very Tim Burton-esque. They will send shivers down your spine!

Now, off you go and buy this book - and mark September with an excited squiggle followed by a few thousand exclamation marks.

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