Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century #1)



In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


This was a “did not finish” after about 150 page.  I wanted SO BADLY to love this book, but it just never clicked for me.  It has all of the elements (well maybe not the zombies) of steampunk that I love, but somehow didn’t quite work.

The characters are extremely remote from the reader.  When I was reading the sections from Briar’s point of view, it was like watching a movie from afar with little explanation of what was going on.  You never get true insight.  My other complaint is that the characters seem to be “well this is who we are and then we’ll be thrown around at the whims of the plot”.  Oh, and let's throw in a lot of things that steampunk fans like... it never felt like a naturally built world for me.  Other than slightly at the beginning, it never felt like the characters were making decisions or deciding which direction to go.

I kept picking this one up and down and ultimately decided to abandon it.  Perhaps I’ll give it another shot down the line.

Warning: Contains violence.

Rating: 2 stars!

Who should read it? Zombie, steampunk and Western fans who think a flare of dystopian sounds amazing.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Clementine (The Clockwork Century #1.1)
  • Tanglefoot (The Clockwork Century #1.2)
  • Dreadnought (The Clockwork Century #2)
  • Ganymede (The Clockwork Century #3)
  • The Inexplicables (The Clockwork Century #4)
  • Fiddlehead (The Clockwork Century #5)
  • Jacaranda (The Clockwork Century #6)




From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller “Let the Right One In (Let Me In)” comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes. One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While the couple explore the lighthouse, Maja disappears -- either into thin air or under thin ice -- leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to the island to regroup. He slowly realises that people are not telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. What is happening in Domaro, and what power does the sea have over the town's inhabitants? (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


I created a mental block about this book.  I tried to read it as part of my reading challenge last year, but I just couldn’t get into it.  The beginning started out extremely fascinating, but when we got to “current time”, I found the book start to drag.  The creep factor was off and on, interspersed with some extremely interesting parts.  When we talked about Anders’ father and how Domaro (as a unit) operated I was intrigued, but then it went back to dragging on.

I kept finding I had to drag myself to the book and struggling to get through just one more chapter.  Ultimately it was abandoned, life is too short to force myself to read something I’m not enjoying!

Warning: Extremely creepy.

Rating: 1 stars!

Who should read it? I couldn’t get through it, but I’m sure horror fans might love the slow build!

Amish Vampires in Space

Amish Vampires in Space


Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space. The Amish world of Alabaster calls upon an ancient promise to escape destruction. Then end up on a cargo ship bound for the stars. But they are not the only cargo on board. Some of it is alive...or used to be. Now, with vampires taking over and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even older. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


This book was fantastic!  While the title began as a publisher’s joke, the author said “Challenge Accepted”.  Not only was the challenge accepted, it was knocked out of the park.  Nietz does an amazing job providing a realistic premise (within the context of science fiction), where the Amish would be exposed to vampires.  In space.  The Amish are futuristic settlers on Alabaster who are forced to leave the planet after the sun becomes unstable.

I’ve seen some people comment that this was not a perfect portrayal of the Amish lifestyle so…SURPRISE?  Not being an Amish expert I’m in no position to make a judgment one way or another.  That being said, however, I will say all religions were treated respectfully throughout the entire novel, which I commend.  In a book that could have easily been a big joke, Nietz manages to touch upon a few serious topics without being preachy or annoying about them.  I will say the book wrapped up quickly, but as this was written as a stand-alone, it is in an acceptable way.

Warning: Contains some violence.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Are you really wondering if you should read this?  Just reread the title of the book.

Night of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps #7)

Night of the Living Dummy


When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist's dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to "rescue" it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It's not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She'll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can't be the dummy causing all the trouble, Can it? (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


Thank god I did not read these books growing up.  I have always been a wimp for scary movies and books, but with Halloween coming up I figured I’d give the horror pair on the reading challenge a try sooner rather than later.  Woof.  I had to read most of this book at lunch times, sitting outside in the sunlight.  When I tried to read it before bed I was purposefully distracting myself because I was nervous about nightmares.

Was it really that scary?  No, perhaps not, but Stine does a fantastic job with the creepy level.  It’s also disturbing to from the perspective of no one believing you when the creepy DOES come to life.  Considering the main characters are supposed to be twelve, I don’t think I could have handled a joke that Lindy played on Kris!

Warning: Contains some violence and horror.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Sadists.  No, but really – it was decently creepy.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Welcome to the Dead House (Goosebumps #1)
  • Stay Out of the Basement (Goosebumps #2)
  • Monster Blood (Goosebumps #3)
  • Say Cheese and Die! (Goosebumps #4)
  • The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (Goosebumps #5)
  • Let’s Get Invisible (Goosebumps #6)
  • The Girl Who Cried Monster (Goosebumps #8)
  • Welcome to Camp Nightmare (Goosebumps #9)
  • The Ghost Next Door (Goosebumps #10)
  • The Haunted Mask (Goosebumps #11)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For… (Goosebumps #12)
  • Piano Lessons Can Be Murder (Goosebumps #13)
  • The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (Goosebumps #14)
  • You Can’t Scare Me! (Goosebumps #15)
  • One Day in Horror land (Goosebumps #16)
  • Why I’m Afraid of Bees (Goosebumps #17)
  • Monster Blood II (Goosebumps #18)
  • Deep Trouble (Goosebumps #19)
  • The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight (Goosebumps #20)
  • And many more!