Official Cherie Priest Website
Official The Clockwork Century Website
Order “Ganymede” HERE
Read FBC’s Review of “Boneshaker”
Read FBC’s Review of “Clementine”
Read FBC’s Review of “Dreadnought”
AUTHOR INFORMATION:Cherie Priest’s bibliography includes the Blooker-Award winning Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Fathom, Wings to the Kingdom, Not Flesh Nor Feathers, the Cheshire Red Reports urban fantasy series, and the Clockwork Century novels which includes the Nebula and Hugo Award-nominated Boneshaker. She is also the author of the novellas Dreadful Skin, Those Who Went Remain There Still and Clementine published by Subterranean Press, as well as numerous short stories and nonfiction articles that have appeared in Weird Tales, Publishers Weekly, and the Stoker-nominated anthology Aegri Somnia from Apex Book Company.
PLOT SUMMARY: Air pirate Andan Cly has a chance to go straight. Well, straighter. But first, he’s going to have to successfully complete a couple of jobs. One is a supply run for the Seattle Underground, paid for by Yaozu—Minnericht’s former right-hand man.
The other is a piloting job in New Orleans, for a beautiful mixed-race prostitute named Josephine Early. A woman Cly once loved. But that was a decade ago and the pirate’s heart now belongs to another. So he agrees to the request, not for Josephine, but because it’s a chance to complete two lucrative jobs at once. An offer he can’t refuse.
Unfortunately, Cly has no idea what he’s in for. Hidden at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain lurks an astonishing war machine, a submersible called the Ganymede. This Rebel prototype could end the war, if only anyone had the faintest idea of how to operate it. If only they could sneak it past the Texians and Confederate forces searching for the machine and into the waiting arms of the Union. And if only it hadn’t killed most of the men who’d ever set foot inside it...
CLASSIFICATION: The Clockwork Century series is set in an alternate history America—circa 1880—flavored with elements of steampunk, horror, intrigue, and Western pulp...
FORMAT/INFO:Ganymede is 352 pages long divided over seventeen numbered chapters. Also includes a Map and an Author’s Note discussing the actual history used in the book. Narration is in the third-person, alternating between the prostitute Josephine Early and the air pirate captain Andan Cly. Ganymede is self-contained, but is connected to the previous volumes (Boneshaker, Dreadnought) in the Clockwork Century series. A couple of matters are left unresolved in Ganymede, but hopefully they will be explored in the next Clockwork Century novel, Inexplicable. September 27, 2011 marks the North American Trade Paperback publication of Ganymede via Tor. The cover art is once again provided by Jon Foster.
ANALYSIS: Compared to Boneshaker and the novella Clementine, Dreadnought was a disappointment, failing to deliver the same level of fun, thrills and entertainment found in its predecessors. Fortunately, Cherie Priest returns to form in her latest Clockwork Century novel, Ganymede. For the most part at least.
One of the biggest issues I had with Dreadnought was how all of the exciting parts were sandwiched in between seemingly endless pages of boredom. Ganymede still suffers from a few boring lulls, but overall the book is a more entertaining affair thanks to faster pacing, a smaller page count, tighter plotting and a narrative that once again switches between two different POVs. It also helps that the tone of Ganymede is not as dark or serious as it was in Dreadnought, while the author has reined in her exploration of such themes as racism, gender roles and war, even though they are still present.
As far as the novel’s characters, Josephine Early is another strong and interesting female protagonist in the vein of Briar Wilkes and Mercy Lynch. However, apart from her profession and the color of her skin, there is very little to differentiate Josephine from Briar and Mercy. Besides sharing the same traits and a similar narrative voice, Josephine’s relationship with her younger brother is strongly reminiscent of Briar’s relationship with her son Zeke and the relationship that Mercy establishes with her father. That’s why it’s nice there is a second POV in the book. Especially when that second POV is Captain Andan Cly. Cly is a personal favorite of the Clockwork Century’s supporting cast, so it was very rewarding to see the air pirate in a starring role. Plus, he provides a nice counterpoint to the familiarity of Josephine’s narrative.
Plot-wise, Ganymede is pretty straightforward. There are subplots involving “zombis/Dead Who Walk” and the pirate bay of Barataria, some romance, and even a little bit of voodoo, but mostly Ganymede is exactly as described in the synopsis. Because the story is so straightforward there are hardly any surprises along the way, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless. It’s also important to note that even though Ganymede is self-contained like its predecessors, the novel works better as a complement/sequel to Dreadnought than a standalone tale since it develops matters introduced in the previous book, while setting the stage for further developments in the next Clockwork Century adventure.
Of the writing in Ganymede, Cherie Priest delivers another impressive performance, led once again by highly accessible prose. Other highlights include the vibrant depiction of a Texas-occupied New Orleans with an escalating rotter problem, and the interesting history & historical figures—Horace Lawson Hunley, Madame Marie Laveau, Barataria Bay—woven into the novel. I also loved the way references are made to the other releases in the Clockwork Century series. Sometimes it’s simply the mention of a name—Croggon Hainey, Dr. Minnericht, Mr. Pinkerton’s Secret Service, Captain MacGruder—but in most cases, familiar faces and plot developments make an actual appearance in Ganymede. These include the bartender Lucy O’Gunning, Miss Angeline, Jeremiah Swakhammer and his daughter Mercy Lynch, Briar Wilkes and her son Zeke, Ranger Horatio Korman, and so on.
CONCLUSION: From an entertainment standpoint, Ganymede certainly has more to offer than Dreadnought, but at the same time, the novel falls a couple notches short of the thrilling heights attained by Boneshaker and the novella Clementine. For the most part though, Ganymede is another rewarding entry in the Clockwork Century series. A series I very much look forward to continuing in next year’s Inexplicable...
Genres and Sub-GenresEdit
Series Description or Overview Edit
✥ Other than the vampires there isn’t a huge amount of fantasy in the story. There is no magic and no other supernatural species are revealed to exist in the Bloodshot world but what the story lacks in complex fantasy mythology it more than makes up for with its fabulous characters and off-beat style. There is no shortage of fast-paced action as Raylene dodges bullets and pulls off daring escapes from government facilities. ~ Love Vampires
Lead's Species Edit
- Vampire, professional thief/investigator
Primary Supe Edit
What Sets it ApartEdit
Narrative Type and Narrators Edit
- First person narrative told by Raylene.
Books in Series Edit
Cheshire Red Reports series:
- Bloodshot (2011)
- Hellbent (2011)
Other Series by Author onsite Edit
World Building Edit
From the frozen outskirts of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta, Georgia.
- Seattle, Atlanta, D.C., Florida, Holtzer Point, Jordan Roe, St. Paul, Minnesota,
✥ Vampires, shady government agencies, mad scientist, secret experiments, witch, magical relic, Men in Black, magical artifacts, government files, ghoul, ,
- Bacula: penis bones—the bones are from a variety of supernatural creatures—Raylene is tasked with the seemingly simple task of stealing a box of old bones
Groups & Organizations:Edit
✥ Raylene, the story’s light-fingered vampire protagonist, her quirky voice narrates the tale in unique style. Like all urban fantasy heroines Raylene is a strong character, she’s a competent professional thief with mad skills in breaking and entering–her vampire strength and speed giving her an edge over most security measures–but she also has some real weaknesses. Firstly, she is slightly OCD. She hoards her possessions (even broken pens) and compulsively plans. Raylene’s charming voice gives readers an insight into her neurosis and the weaknesses make her character seem more realistic. Secondly, for a vampire who has eschewed all emotional ties, preferring to be self-reliant rather than keep “pet people”, she does a remarkably poor job of keeping herself “pet” free–gaining homeless teenagers, a sparkly drag queen and an injured vampire during the course of events. Raylene is shockingly ruthless and somewhat self-serving but the reluctant discovery of her hidden soft centre went along way to endearing her. ~ Love Vampires
✥ Raylene Pendle (also known as Cheshire Red) is a renowned thief who steals everything from priceless art and rare jewels to people's dirty secrets. She also happens to be a vampire but apart from an aversion to the sun and not ageing, that doesn't stop her in the slightest. ~ SFBook review
- Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:
Characters Chart Edit
|Raylene Pendle, aka Cheshire Red||vampire and high-end thief / investigator||competent professional thief with mad skills in breaking and entering; over a hundred;|
|Ian Stott||blind vampire, client||asks for help to retrieve missing government files: documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind;|
|scientist||psychotic, power-hungry; after Raylene;|
|witch #2||schizophrenic; needs the bones to power her grand (and completely insane) magic project|
|Adrian deJesus||x-Navy SEAL,||drag queen;|
|Domino||homeless kid||one of the 2 homeless kids that live in Raylene's warehouse and keep watch;|
|Pepper||homeless kid||Domino's little sister; one of the 2 homeless kids that live in Raylene's warehouse and keep watch; tolerable and smart;|
|Major Bruner||parkour group organizer||Ex-military|
|Rose||aka Sister Rose|
|Horace||client||Raylene's occasional client|
|Duncan||thief||a colleague of Raylene's|
|David Keene||Doctor||attempting to help Ian Stott restore his vision;|
|Abigail||Raylene's alter ego|
|Peter Desarme||CIA agent|
|Horace||employer||Raylene's occasional employer; insanely addicted to making money;|
|William Renner||Vampire||Ian's father;|
To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.
Bio: CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas published by Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the interstitial mystery), debuted in the summer of 2011. Cherie’s short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Publishers Weekly, and numerous anthologies. She lives in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband, a big shaggy dog, and a fat black cat. ~ Goodreads
✥ Cherie Priest is a Florida native, born in 1975. In 2002 she graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with an M.A. in Rhetoric/Professional writing, and a B.A. from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN. She lives, with her husband, in Seattle, Washington. Priest's published writing style thus far falls into the Southern Gothic genre as well as the Horror genre. She has also written several short stories, most of which can be categorized as Horror or Science fiction. ~ FF
- Artist: Jae Sung — Source: ISFdb
- Audio Book Narrator: — Source:
- Editor: — Source:
- Publisher: Spectra / Ballantine Books; Titan Books
- Author/Book Page:
Book Cover Blurbs Edit
✤ BOOK ONE—Bloodshot (2011): VAMPIRE FOR HIRE — Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride. ~ Goodreads | Bloodshot (Cheshire Red Reports, #1) by Cherie Pries
✤ BOOK TWO—Hellbent (2011): BAD TO THE BONE — Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths. Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right? ~ Goodreads | Hellbent (Cheshire Red Reports, #2) by Cherie Priest
First Sentences Edit
- Bloodshot (2011) — You wouldn't believe some of the weird shit people pay me to steal.
- Hellbent (2011) — It sounded like a good idea at the time, which is probably going to be on my tombstone—along with a catty footnote about poor impulse control.
Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit
See Category links at bottom of page
Notes & Tid-bits Edit
See Also Edit
Category links at bottom of page
External References Edit
World, Characters, etc:
Interviews, Guest Posts, Author Commentary:
Community, Fan Sites:
Gallery of Book Covers Edit