Calico Reaction (calico_reaction) wrote in bookish,
Calico Reaction

Priest, Cherie: Clementine

Clementine (2010)
Written by: Cherie Priest
Genre: Steampunk/Alternate History
Pages: 201 (Hardcover)

The premise: ganked from Subterranean's website: Maria Isabella Boyd’s success as a Confederate spy has made her too famous for further espionage work, and now her employment options are slim. Exiled, widowed, and on the brink of poverty…she reluctantly goes to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in Chicago.

Adding insult to injury, her first big assignment is commissioned by the Union Army. In short, a federally sponsored transport dirigible is being violently pursued across the Rockies and Uncle Sam isn’t pleased. The Clementine is carrying a top secret load of military essentials—essentials which must be delivered to Louisville, Kentucky, without delay.

Intelligence suggests that the unrelenting pursuer is a runaway slave who’s been wanted by authorities on both sides of the Mason-Dixon for fifteen years. In that time, Captain Croggon Beauregard Hainey has felonied his way back and forth across the continent, leaving a trail of broken banks, stolen war machines, and illegally distributed weaponry from sea to shining sea.

And now it’s Maria’s job to go get him.

He’s dangerous quarry and she’s a dangerous woman, but when forces conspire against them both, they take a chance and form an alliance. She joins his crew, and he uses her connections. She follows his orders. He takes her advice.

And somebody, somewhere, is going to rue the day he crossed either one of them.

My Rating

Find a Cheaper Copy: you know, it's a rare thing when I buy a Subterranean edition of something and honestly think it's worth the cash, let alone a must have. Part of it's because I'm always getting the expensive version of whatever the book may be instead of the more standardly-priced hardcover, so there's your bias. That said, fans of Priest's Clockwork Century books should enjoy this, especially if said fans enjoyed Hainey's character from Boneshaker. Also, an attachment to airships is probably a plus. What delighted me instead was the introduction of Maria Belle Boyd, a former Confederate spy now working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Oh, I quite hope she makes another appearance in this series, because she's a character I'd like to follow. The book entertaining in how it combines characters and events from previous Clockwork Century stories, but those stories are, by no means, necessary to enjoy this book (though it might help a wee bit). A good read, but I feel you're probably going to want to find this cheaper than the list price of $25.00, unless you're a tool like me and love Priest's work so much on the whole that you have to pay extra for the limited-signed-with-a-free-chapbook edition. And in that case, well, there's a support group for that, right? :)

Review style: not much I want to discuss here, other than to ramble a bit on how history plays a role in Priest's fiction despite the fact she's writing alternate history and therefore not bound to the strict trappings of history itself. Spoilers? Nah… not much to spoil here. To read the full review at my LJ, just click the link below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading!


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

August: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
September: So Long Been Dreaming edited by Nalo Hopkinson
October: Feed by Mira Grant

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