Sunday, January 29, 2012

Inventions and Dreadnoughts

This month I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, a children's book about an orphaned boy trying to repair an automaton that his father left him. The boy gets caught up in a mystery involving an old filmmaker and the dangerous fire that claimed his father's life. Once repaired, the automaton reveals a secret that links them all together...

The story kept my attention, but the real draw of the book was the hundreds of beautiful illustrations. Reading the book is like watching a movie. Brian Selznick both wrote and illustrated the book. I'm impressed.

This weekend I finished reading Dreadnought by Cherie Priest, a steampunk novel set in the Civil War era. The Civil War has been going on for 20 years, and Confederate nurse Mercy Lynch heads out west after receiving a message from her estranged father. Along her transcontinental trip, she gets caught in the crossfire between Yankees and Rebels--and falls in the middle of a plot that could end the war...or humanity itself.

If you like alternative history, steampowered walkers, heavily-armored trains, and zombies, then you should read Dreadnought.

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