Thursday, January 14, 2010

Literary Feast Discussion: Boneshaker (Finale!)

Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)

Well friends, this is it -- we have finally reached the conclusion of Boneshaker, and of our most recent Literary Feast. We're going to hash out our final thoughts -- feel free to join on in, and let us know what you thought of the book!

Shel: Finally! Zeke isn't annoying me. *glances at the few pages remaining* Took him long enough.

Monica: Meh. Still not my favorite. Although really, I did start to warm up to him right around the time when he stood up to Dr. Crazy Face. I think what it honestly boils down to is that while Zeke would be a perfectly fine character in most books, here there were SO MANY great people to choose from that he just doesn’t make the cut. Perhaps it’s the way he’s lacking a zeppelin. Or a suit made of machinery. Or, you know, a knife and an overdeveloped sense of vengeance. (Shout out to S. Morgenstern, whoo!)

Shel: I like that, Dr. Crazy Face. I have a professor right now that I think I may give that nickname to. His assignments are almost as torturous as the original Dr. Crazy Face's treatment of Lucy.

Monica: So Shel, what are your thoughts on the whole showdown between Briar and Dr. Crazy Face and then Dr. Crazy Face and his truly angry mother-in-law? I could not get over the descriptions of the attack – the rotters have *nothing* on the Princess, am I right?

Shel: You are right. And I liked that he had a connection to another character. But I was a little angry that there was no way for the reader to guess who he was in advance. I do love me my guessing.

Monica: And we guessed wrong, that's the saddest part. He wasn't Levi after all....

Shel: This is going back a section, but I do wish Zeke had shown a more emotional reaction when he learned that his mom had gone through so much to search for him. I wanted that Finding Nemo moment. Where someone would be all, "and your Mom skipped work, flew into a walled city, battled zombies and faced an evil criminal mastermind to find you. Kay? Show her love!"

Monica: But there was a little love, at least. I mean, they sort of had that moment where he looked at her and was all, “Aw, Mom, you’ve suffered a closed head injury, but don’t worry, I’m here for you,” right? And then later, when she was all, “Mummified father figure = tragic,” and he fires back with, “Okay, I’m devastated and my entire world has crumbled around me, but I love you anyway”? That’s emotion!

Shel: Sorry that your Historian Hale was cast in the small role of bookend? How are you dealing with this? You gonna be okay?

Monica: I’m coping, I’m coping. At least he came back a little, to allow us a last glimpse at the loneliness and pointlessness of Briar’s former life, so that we can all breathe easy knowing that she and Zeke will be rocking it out amongst the pirates and one-armed barkeeps from now on, bags of stolen money in hand. And honestly, there was so much awesome with other characters I liked that I feel I can’t be too sad about another one of my favorites not playing a huge role. It does beg the question, though – what exactly will he write? Is this his account? But no, it couldn’t be! Will there be a sequel based on Hale’s writings!? Inquiring minds want to know!

Shel: I have to say, Boneshaker took it out of me. I'm feeling exhausted.

Monica: Ditto. Fun reading experience and all, but now all I want to do is curl up with my copy of Redwall and zone for a while…. Overall though, honestly, what were your thoughts on the book? Too long? Too serious? Just the right amount of intrigue coupled with adventure and steampunkiness?

Shel: A little too serious. I had to read it in short bursts for fear of going all twitchy. It was only toward the end that I felt like I was getting into it. I also could have used some more steampunk-action.

Monica: Lucky for us, steampunk appears to be the new Edward Cullen! We can always try out Leviathan, next time. Or next next time. We may need something lighter to follow Boneshaker.

And that's it for this Literary Feast, friends! We'll take a few days to recover, but be sure to shout out suggestions for what next month's book should be.

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