by Cherie Priest
In this alternate history set in 19th century Seattle, Leviticus Blue created a massive machine called the Boneshaker, which dug below the city banks and released a cloud of gas that turned those who breathed it into "rotters." Fifteen years after the incident, Levi's wife Briar and her son, Ezekiel, deal with the censure of their neighbors for being related to Levi and to Maynard Wilkes, Briar's father who infamously let inmates free to get them away from the gas. When Ezekiel sneaks into the now walled-off Seattle, filled with the poisonous gas and the rotters, determined to clear his grandfather's and father's names, an earthquake leaves him stranded on the inside. Briar is determined to find him and enters the city after him.
After years of reading fantasy, I've gotten pretty good at suspending disbelief, which you really need to do to get into this steampunk/zombie story. If you can, it's a fun premise and I enjoyed the re-imagining of Seattle and American history. The world-building was well done and the writing moves along quickly. I wanted a little more to happen in terms of the story as some revelations were not all that surprising, but overall it was a fun ride and I'd be willing to read more by this author.