Two years ago, Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker brought a new vitality to steampunk and kicked off her Clockwork Century series. Ganymede, the latest installment, come out today and is definitely worth adding to your library. (Whether it is third or fourth depends on whether you choose to count Clementine; I count it, but not everyone does.) I found it a more enjoyable read than Dreadnought which seemed to bog down at times, although still not as gripping as Boneshaker (which to be fair benefited from the excitement of introducing us to a new world).

This book follows two characters in more or less alternating chapters. First is Andan Cly, the Seattle airship captain we met back in Boneshaker who is making his first supply run as a legitimate business man, more or less, but who also needs to stop by New Orleans to do a favor for our second viewpoint character, Miss Josephine Early. Josephine runs a brothel in Texian-occupied New Orleans, but is also working with her brother and other guerrillas to help the Union’s efforts to end the 20 year civil war still ravaging North America. Andan doesn’t know is that the favor is piloting a secret stolen Confederate submarine, the titular Ganymede, or that the Confederate forces will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening. I won’t spoil anything here, but as with the earlier books in the series, the tensions build strongly to a powerful finish.

As a side note, you don’t have to read Boneshaker and Dreadnought first, but doing so will help you better understand some of the peripheral characters and the quasi-post-apocalyptic Seattle setting.

Official description:

The air pirate Andan Cly is going straight. Well, straighter. Although he’s happy to run alcohol guns wherever the money’s good, he doesn’t think the world needs more sap, or its increasingly ugly side-effects. But becoming legit is easier said than done, and Cly’s first legal gig—a supply run for the Seattle Underground—will be paid for by sap money.

New Orleans is not Cly’s first pick for a shopping run. He loved the Big Easy once, back when he also loved a beautiful mixed-race prostitute named Josephine Early—but that was a decade ago, and he hasn’t looked back since. Jo’s still thinking about him, though, or so he learns when he gets a telegram about a peculiar piloting job. It’s a chance to complete two lucrative jobs at once, one he can’t refuse. He sends his old paramour a note and heads for New Orleans, with no idea of what he’s in for—or what she wants him to fly.

But he won’t be flying. Not exactly. Hidden at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain lurks an astonishing war machine, an immense submersible called the Ganymede. This 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 Southern forces at the mouth of the Mississippi River… If only it hadn’t killed most of the men who’d ever set foot inside it.

But it’s those “if onlys” that will decide whether Cly and his crew will end up in the history books, or at the bottom of the ocean.


There are not a lot of reviews yet, largely due to this post going up on publication day, but here are a couple to get you going:

Let us know what you think of it!