Monday, March 25, 2013

Dreadnought by Cherie Priest

I liked this book more than I liked Boneshaker. Dreadnought is the third in the Clockwork Century Series.
I cannot wait to read the next book, Ganymede.  There is a free online story called Tanglewood here on the Subterranean Press.
It's the Civil War that has gone on for years and years.  Mercy is a nurse for the Confederate side.  She is married to a Yankee that she has not heard from in months.  Clara Barton comes to her hospital and tells her that her husband died right after he got to Andersonville Prison months ago.  The next day she gets a telegram saying her daddy is dying and he needs her.  This man had left the family when Mercy was a child and they never heard from him again.  A friend convinces her to go to him but her father lives in Seattle.  It will take weeks to get to him.  She decides to go.
This is where the story takes off.  She rides an airship, a fast riverboat, a train and another airship to get to him.  She has a lifetime of adventures in a few weeks! What a woman Mercy is.

Excerpt from the publisher:
Down in the laundry room with the bloody- wet floors and the ceiling- high stacks of sheets, wraps, and blankets, Vinita Lynch was elbows- deep in a vat full of dirty pillowcases because she’d promised— she’d sworn on her mother’s life— that she’d find a certain windup pocket watch belonging to Private Hugh Morton before the device was plunged into a tub of simmering soapy water and surely destroyed for good.
Why the private had stashed it in a pillowcase wasn’t much of a mystery: even in an upstanding place like the Robertson Hospital, small and shiny valuables went missing from personal stashes with unsettling regularity. And him forgetting about it was no great leap either: the shot he took in the forehead had been a lucky one because he’d survived it, but it left him addled at times— and this morning at breakfast had been one of those times. At the first bell announcing morning food, against the strict orders of Captain Sally he’d sat up and bolted into the mess hall, which existed only in that bullet- buffeted brain of his. In the time it took for him to be captured and redirected to his cot, where the meal would come to him, thank you very kindly, if only he’d be patient enough to receive it, the junior nursing staff had come through and stripped the bedding of all and sundry.
None of them had noticed the watch, but it would’ve been easy to miss.
So Nurse Lynch was down in the blistering hot hospital basement, dutifully fishing through laundry soiled by injured and greasy heads, running noses, and rheumy eyes in hopes that Private Hugh Morton would either be re united with the absent treasure, or would be separated from it long enough to forget all about it.
Upstairs, someone cried out, “Mercy!”
And downstairs, in the hospital basement, Vinita Lynch took a very deep breath and let it out slowly, between her teeth.
“Mercy! Mercy, come up here, please!”
Because that’s what they’d taken to calling her, through some error of hearing or paperwork, or because it was easier for a room full of bed- bound men to remember a common word than call her by her given name.
“Mercy!”
It was louder this time, and insistent, and bellowed by Captain Sally herself somewhere up on the first floor. Captain Sally sounded like she meant business; but then again, Captain Sally always meant business, and that was why she was the captain.
The nurse angled her head to cast her voice up the stairs and shouted, “Coming!” though she continued to rifle through the laundry, because something sharp had tapped against the nail of her thumb. And if she could just snare one long finger around the smooth metal plate of the watch’s back— yes, that had to be it— then she’d be only a moment longer. “I’m coming!” she said even more loudly, to stall for those extra seconds, even though the summons hadn’t come again. To read more click on the link above.

Pages: 400

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