Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cherie Priest “Clementine” (Subterranean Press, 2010)

Clementine is a short novel that takes place in Priest’s Clockwork Century universe.  Since these are all more shared worlds novels than continuing storylines, it is not necessary to have read the other novels in order to understand Clementine.  That being said, the world building of the other novels does add to the enjoyment of this one.

Clementine is a lean, mean adventure novel.  While there is a small supporting cast, Priest focuses on two main characters.  Pirate Croggon Hainey is determined to get his airship back.  He’s willing to undertake a violent cross-country chase if that’s what it takes.  Belle Boyd, former Confederate spy turned Pinkerton agent, is assigned to stop him and make sure that the ship’s cargo arrives in Kentucky.

Priest’s narrow focus means that the short length of this novel does not work to its detriment.  She develops the two protagonists and has plenty of room for their fast paced adventures.  The plot moves swiftly, & is surprisingly compelling given its simplicity.

While not as significant as Priest’s other Clockwork Century novels, Clementine is an entertaining read and adds more depth & texture to the world she has created. 

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