The Boneshaker

The Boneshaker

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The Boneshaker 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
K_malinczak More than 1 year ago
I should've reviewed this much sooner, but I've been super busy and have gotten a little behind on my reviews. But I am so catching up now and I'm starting with The Boneshaker. If you read any of my status updates on twitter, you will know that I wasn't into this book at the very beginning. The writing was great from the start, but there was no plot to be heard of. I stuck with it though, because I got this in a Goodreads giveaway and I hate to not finish those books. I'm glad I did though, because once the story picked up, I thought it was fabulous. The plot was super-quirky and it reminded me of Alice In Wonderland a bit. The two are totally unrelated, but I guess in the ways that the book gave off a very creepy vibe even though it was a children's novel. I thought it was downright scary in a few places and it had me thinking about how if this was ever turned into a movie, it would simply have to be directed by Tim Burton. By the way, Big Fish was on television today. I love that movie. So this medicine show rolls into town and the townspeople literally eat this stuff up. Even Natalie's parents and brother. But not Natalie. She thinks that something is wrong with these crazy kooks from the start. And she would turn out to be right. I can't tell you why without revealing spoilers, but I can just say that these medicine peddlers are seriously messed up and they have this little dancing doll with them that does a high-wire act and that totally messed with my head. I never realized how afraid of dolls I was. Keep the creepy-faced dolls away from me in the future. I thought for sure I was going to have nightmares over this. The imagery in this book was terrific and I really loved the author's way of portraying the medicine show through the use of her descriptive passages. It was beautiful. She left a lot to the imagination and did a great job capturing the essence of the town and the layout of the medicine show. All in all, I thought this book was pretty fantastic and I'm glad I own a signed copy. I won't be giving this one away anytime soon and I think it's a great addition to the Steampunk genre. It was a debut novel for this author too. And it honestly felt like she had been writing forever. I haven't been impressed with any of the middle-grade novels I've been reading lately and I finally found one I enjoyed. Thank goodness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest books ever written cant wait for my copies of the broken lands and the kairos mechansim
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome Book :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Strange things can happen at a crossroads. If a town is near that crossroads, well, strange things can happen there too. Arcane, Missouri is filled with strange stories about the town and the crossroads. Just ask Natalie Minks. She might only be thirteen, but she already knows all about the strange goings on at the crossroads thanks to her excellent storyteller (and terrible cook) mother. As much as Natalie loves a good story, she loves machines and gears more. Her father is an expert bicycle mechanic and Natalie is learning too--it's 1913 after all and machines are popping up everywhere. Even, it turns out, in traveling bands of snake oil salesmen. Doctor Jake Limberleg's Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show promises entertainment, information, and a cure for any and all ailments. Natalie is enchanted by all of the bicycles and automata the show brings along with its tents and patent medicines. But she can't shake the nagging feeling that something is wrong, horribly wrong, with the medicine show and its Paragons of Science. Natalie will have to get to the bottom of an age-old bargain, tame the fastest bicycle in the world, cash in a dangerous favor, and ask a lot of costly questions. All before the medicine show can take Arcane for everything it's worth in The Boneshaker (2010) by Kate Milford with illustrations by Andrea Offermann.* The Boneshaker is Milford's first novel. The Boneshaker tackles a lot of narrative ground with unexplained visions, mysterious automatons, strange bargains, and a whole town's secrets. The ending of the story leaves a lot up in the air with Natalie's future and even her place in the town. The narrative also takes a lot of time to tie things together and explain details of the lore surrounding Arcane as well as to explain certain things Natalie begins to learn in the story. The premise is interesting and Natalie is a great protagonist but the whole package was not quite as well-realized (or resolved) as it could have been. That said, Milford writes like a natural storyteller. The opening pages of this story draw readers in with prose that sounds like a traditional folk tale and a setting that immediately evokes the era and feel of a midwestern town at the turn of the last century. Everything about The Boneshaker is charming from Natalie and her cantankerous bicycle to the vivid illustrations by Offermann that bring Natalie's world to life. This story is well-written and will find many fans in readers of fantasies and historical novels alike. *The Boneshaker is not to be confused by a similarly titled but completely different book by Cherie Priest called Boneshaker. Possible Pairings: Plain Kate by Erin Bow, The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale, Holes by Louis Sachar, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
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BexBoox More than 1 year ago
Arcane, Missouri is at a crossroads where if Natalie Minks's mother is correct, a local musician fought the Devil for his soul. The town's aptly named, because odd things happen there--including the left front wheel of any vehicle coming through getting wrecked. Our heroine, Natalie Minks, is a junior grease monkey fascinated with all things mechanical and in particular the Wright Brothers recent attempts at flight. She works with her Dad in his garage and is building an automata (mechanical model) of the Wright Brothers plane. When a mysterious medicine show arrives in town, Natalie's suspicious. She has a right to be. Dr. Limberleg's got some kind of power. He can make her automata move without the key. He can cure any ail, but will that cure last? When Natalie's family is preoccupied with her mom's illness, she sets out to find out about the medicine show and realizes it's up to her to save the town. Kate Mitford does an amazing job of crafting deep characters with fascinating twists. Paired with Andrea Offerman's deft illustrations, The Boneshaker's not just a book you want to read--it's a keeper. Rebecca Kyle, May 2010
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Natalie's father built her the world's fastest bicycle. Trouble is, she can't ride it. Old Man Tom Guyot tells her all she needs a little more confidence. Then the mysterious Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show stops at the crossroads outside of town, and all of the residents of Arcane, Missouri is altered. Natalie feels a great shift in her world, but doesn't know what to do about it. Her mother is sick, her family is falling apart, and she doesn't trust the newcomers one bit. In a matter of mere days, Natalie will not only have to learn to ride her fancy bike, but will also have to figure out how to save her family, friends, and life as she knows it from impending doom. The Boneshaker moved along at perfect story-telling pace. I loved the folk tales that popped up within the plot, as part of Arcane's history. Every small town has those stories that get passed down from generation to generation, and I got pleasure out of reading about Tom Guyot. Milford does an incredible job of describing every detail- of painting a beautiful picture of what Natalie is seeing, without bogging down the reader. An equally creepy and inspiring story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.