by Cherie Priest
More fun than a barrel of steampunk monkeys. The Civil War has been raging back east for more than a decade, and downtown Seattle has been abandoned even longer after a mad scientist’s excavator unleashed the Blight. Now the center of the city is surrounded by the Great Wall and filled with toxic volcanic fumes and the living dead, the rotters. The scientist’s widow, Briar Wilkes, revisits the dead downtown in search of her boy Zeke, who is looking for answers and finding a compelling culture of scavengers, criminals, and opportunists. When one character explains that the weapon he carries for defense against the zombie horde is “Dr. Minnericht’s Doozy Dazer, or plain old ‘Daisy’ for short” this seems perfectly sensible, – and that’s the mark of inspired world building.