Ganymede / Cherie Priest

Hi folks! Long time no blog! While the time-honored tradition of a dying blog is to start posting pictures of cats, I assert to you that I no longer have a cat.

Cover of Ganymede

Ganymede is the fourth book in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, the first of which was a breakout hit. I loved Boneshaker. While I didn’t enjoy the subsequent books quite as much as the inaugural book, they were all a lot of fun. Unless Ms. Priest really whiffs, I’ll continue to buy new entries in the series. I expect good adventure mixed with a fair bit of diversity in the cast. Clockwork Century lures the I don’t like politics and political correctness set in with the story and makes them like that which they are afraid of.

Ganymede follows Andan Cly, a dirigible captain from Boneshaker. His goal is to establish a dirigible station in Seattle, one that isn’t run by less than legal pirates. To do that, he needs the money from one or two big jobs. One picking up supplies for the head of the biggest drug supplier in the U.S., and the other will be for a former flame in New Orleans, Josephine Early.

Josephine Early is a black woman and the madam at a house of prostitution. But she’s also a fifth column in the Confederacy for the Union. Her associates have found the Ganymede in the waters of Lake Ponchartrain. The Ganymede is a submarine developed by a Confederate engineer, but lost to them due to infighting. Ms. Early intends to deliver it to the Union, but hasn’t been able to because piloting it is too difficult. Which is where Andan Cly comes in. Taking the submerged Ganymede through the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico should have a lot in common with flying his dirigible. Of course, there’s also the matter of the Texas army that occupies New Orleans and sneaking a truck-sized object by them.

I enjoyed Ganymede quite a bit. I didn’t expect everyone to get captured the the Confederate allies, Texas, then get summarily executed. But given that some measure of success was going to happen, there’s a fair amount of tension as to whether or not they’ll survive the journey. The Ganymede has a very limited fuel and air supply. All the previous pilots have drowned, and they didn’t have the Texian army hot on their heels.

Josephine Early is clearly in charge of the whole operation, outranking Andan Cly and even her military brother who runs the guerrilla band protecting the Ganymede. Even in a story where the military is the center of things, there’s plenty of room for women. In addition, Ganymede includes one of the few transsexual characters I’ve encountered in an adventure minded S.F. story. She isn’t played for laughs nor is her sexuality a tragic characteristic that dooms her existence.

More in Books (3 of 167 articles)