Skip to main content

The Boneshaker

I read The Broken Lands (my thoughts) by Kate Milford a couple months ago and loved it. Loved it so much I nominated it for the Cybils. Loved it so  much I immediately bought a copy of The Boneshaker, Milford's previous novel to which The Broken Lands is a prequel. Despite being a companion novel to The Broken Lands and having some of the same characters it is a very different book. And just as awesome.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Thirteen year-old Natalie Minks loves machines, particularly automata—self operating mechanical devices, usually powered by clockwork. When Jake Limberleg and his traveling medicine show arrive in her small Missouri town with a mysterious vehicle under a tarp and an uncanny ability to make Natalie’s half-built automaton move, she feels in her gut that something about this caravan of healers is a bit off. Her uneasiness leads her to investigate the intricate maze of the medicine show, where she discovers a horrible truth, and realizes that only she has the power to set things right.

Natalie is a true heroine. Her character is fleshed out so well that whenever the third person omniscient narration switched to a scene she wasn't in I was jolted hard in to remembering the book wasn't being narrated by her. She has such a strong voice and presence,  while not actually telling the story herself. That is a well drawn character. She is smart, curious, gutsy, loyal, and  determined. She is also afraid, and at times allows that fear to overwhelm her and step back from doing things she knows she should. Very realistic. She is one of those hero's whose "special", singled out for a purpose. However, Milford handled this in a way that was not tired or cliche. Natalie is being Natalie and, while she knows there is something different about her, she doesn't really realize what or begin to understand it. She does what she does because of the sort of person she is, not because of her abilities. The whole cast of supporting characters is wonderful as well. (Tom. Simon. Miranda. To name but a few.) I loved the characterization of Dr. Limberleg. He is the villain, but there is so much more to him than that. And of course he is not the ultimate villain. 

The story here is a combination of folklore, mythology, historical fiction, and magic. I love how Milford combines all of these elements and the things she does with them. This is truly a thrilling-spine-tingling tale. I appreciate that it is creepy without being gory. I love the struggle between good and evil and the hope that the characters find even in their darkest moments. 

Kate Milford spins great stories from beginning to end. All of the elements are put together just right. I'm so excited to have discovered her books this year. I am now desperate to read The Kairos Mechanism which takes place in Arcane before this story and is about Natalie too (yay!). 

Comments

Christina said…
Oooh, I like the sound of the only somewhat villainous villain with depth. They get the short end of the characterization stick sometimes. Sounds like I need to check out Kate Milford!
Brandy said…
They are the best kind of villains and so rare. Kate Milford is wonderful.

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the

Shadowshaper

Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein

YA Book GIVEAWAY!!!

On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.