Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Literary Feast Discussion: Boneshaker (Part 2)

Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)Let me tell all ya alls, Boneshaker is just the perfect holiday read.  Am I right or am I right?

Below is our discussion for chapters six to eleven.  Feel free to share your thoughts as well.  We always want to hear more from you, internetz.

Shel:  My what a conveniently timed earthquake (or INconveniently, as the case may be).  It's almost as if it knew just when it'd be the worst time to cave in that tunnel.

Monica:  Yes, how shocking!  How terribly unlikely/tragic that a tunnel which apparently has held up for years under “frequent” earthquakes would choose that exact moment to cave in!  It’s as though the plot required a reason for Briar to go Over The Wall Via Some Sort Of Flying Airship!  (I was thinking, just now, if the entire book counts as an example of deus ex machina, since technically everything was caused by the Boneshaker….)

Shel:  I like that Andan Cly (such a name!) turned out to have helped Briar's dad.  I love it when things come back around like that.  I really wanted to learn more about him and his merry (or silent) men, though.

Monica:  I’m hoping that we’ll learn more in later chapters.  He’s another one that I was super fond of right off the bat (like Hale!) that I felt we didn’t get enough information about.  So fingers crossed for page 158 and on!  I wouldn’t be sad if the other captains showed up either.  Perhaps in some sort of festive bar scene, featuring bawdy tavern wenches and off-key, pirate-like singing.

Shel:  I have a new favorite line!  "He waved his hand at Briar, urging her to come out, come out, come out.  Come out of the hole where the dead birds gather" (p. 114).  I love the rhythm!

Monica:  Mine is definitely “I don’t care if it’s no place for a dog or a rat, it’s going to have a woman in it before sundown, so help me God.  Or Maynard” (p. 85).  Briar and I were pretty  much meant to be besties, I think.  She’s so terrified but so unwilling to show it… loves her!  I’m determined that she get out of this book in one piece, Zeke in hand.  Potentially also after falling in love with Cly.  This doesn’t seem like a rom-com sort of novel, but I live in hope.

Shel:  I'll hope for that too.  Just for you, Monica.  I on the other hand am excited for the rotter attack.  I was hoping they'd make an early appearance.  ...oh, skin...not on a face...ick...Make the rotters go away!!!!!!!!!!!

Monica:  They’re pretty darn awesome.  The part where they’re ricocheting off of buildings and bursting through wooden walls and generally acting like they want to eat some brains?  I had to read that twice, it was so cool.  To confirm, though… it’s the Blight that turns you into a rotter, right?  That is, if you get bitten by a rotter you’re just going to get gross rotter germs on you, rather than actually become one yourself?  Not that getting torn apart by the animated undead isn’t horrid enough, but I wanted to be sure that I didn’t also need to worry about Briar turning all zombified on me.  I don’t think I can handle that sort of stress.

Shel:  Yeah, in this world, it's all about not inhaling the gase.

Monica:  In other news, after looking at the rotter section again, I’ve realized that this… this is really a pretty depressing book you picked out for us.  Next time, let’s do one with unicorns?  *Happy* unicorns?

Shel:  Hey now, take some responsibility there missy.  I was all, "Would you prefer to read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld or Boneshaker by Cherie Priest"  You're the one that was the one that was all "BONESHAKER!!!!!!!!!"  Also, you want unicorns?  Does this mean you're on the unicorn side of the great zombies vs. unicorns debate?

Monica:  Okay, in my defense, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to consistently pronounce “Leviathan” correctly.  So I went with the one with an easier title, without actually reading the summaries of either one.  Foolish Monica.  Foolish foolish.  (It’s zombies vs. vampires, obviously, due to the way they’re both members of the Walking Undead.  Mummies might be in there somewhere too.  And I think it’s unicorns vs. narwhals?)

Shel:  I can see your point about the title, LEVIATHAN!!!  I showed the book to my students and while I know I said the title a few times, at one point I do think I went with "This, ah, new book by, umm, Scott Westerfeld..."

We'll resume our discussion of Boneshaker on Tuesday.  Then chapters twelve through nineteen will be on our platter.  Hope to type to you then!

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