First of all… HAPPY NEW YEAR! But I’ll get to that in a later post…
Author: Kate Milford
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published: May 24th, 2010
Page Amount: 372 pages
Blurb from Goodreads: Thirteen year-old Natalie Minks loves machines, particularly automata — self operating mechanical devices, usually powered by clockwork. When Jake Limberleg and his travelling 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.
Set in 1914, The Boneshaker is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.
Why Read: Because it’s been on The Book Smuggler’s top reads for quite a while and they are one of my favorite book reviewers for YA novels, it was hard to resist.
Review: I’m not going to lie, when I began this book – I was skeptical. Perhaps it had been too long since I had read a good YA novel. And perhaps it was because stories starting in the middle of nowhere generally tend to never be as good as I like. But as the story began to get interesting, the hairs on the back of my neck rose an inch. I’m not entirely sure to split this book between characters and plot because for once, I’m torn. How can I describe the kinship in describing Natalie, the main character, without her exploits that make up the story? Ach so, I’m frustrated, but I’ll try my very best.
Beginning in the beginning (Because that is how all things must start), we should start with Natalie. Spunky, fun, and too normal for a story like Boneshaker, it is too easy to slip into her feet – to imagine how we would act if a curious and all together concerning traveling medicine show came to town. Her mother and father are the creative and encouraging parents that we all wished we had. So when sickness strikes her mother, Annie, how can you feel anything other than a slowly gaining horror sentiment? The others, strange old Tom Guyot, annoying but loyal Miranda, confusingly wise Simon and the adults – all characters that existed in our own towns and homes – they reminded me, at least, of how every home is unique. Every place we remember had perfect and not so perfect moments and people we hated. Even the villains have good and bad intentions (well… most of them anyhow).
Plotwise – I found it incredible how speedily. I was interested in the future of the characters. That’s always been a mark of genius for me. And with Boneshaker, the new pages couldn’t come soon enough. Did I want to know why that traveling show was in Natalie’s town? Was I wracking my brain to what the gingerroot did? Yes and yes. Even the ending was ideal, I was clutching at my kindle in horror, knowing in vain I could never really tear myself from the pages. But what I particularly loved about Boneshaker was how there wasn’t a 100% happy ending. People and things had to be sacrificed – and although it brought a tear to my eye (ok, 20 tears), I really appreciated the truth in it.
Gosh, is it even necessary to sum it up? Because the only thing I can say is read read read! If you at all like supernatural YA books that keep your heart pumping and hands trembling long after you turn the final page – I’m begging you. Read it!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Review Coming Soon: Red Moon by Benjamin Percy