Cherie Priest's Boneshaker is her award winning steampunk story of Ezekiel "Zeke" Wilkes, the son of Leviticus Blue, who singlehandedly destroyed 1800s Seattle. Zeke's father invented the "Boneshaker," a large drill engine designed to mine gold from the frozen lands of Alaska. While testing his machine, Blue unleashed a gas on the city, turning those exposed to it into "rotters" (zombies) and causing a major portion of the city to be walled off in order to contain both the gas and the rotters. In an attempt to clear his father's name, Zeke sneaks back into the walled off section of Seattle. Knowing that her son will be facing not only zombies, but criminals and the desperate, Zeke's mother, Briar, goes in to retrieve her son before the unthinkable happens.
This is a very good young adult novel, with the only real flaw being that the dialogue is at times rather stilted; the reunion between Zeke and his mother is particularly difficult and awkward, and I can't help but think perhaps it could have been expressed a bit more smoothly. This is a flaw that can be overlooked in favor of the overall story, however, and it doesn't really diminish from the narrative. A good, entertaining read. I'm looking forward to reading Dreadnought, the second book in her Clockwork Century series.
From Tor Books and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Want to make a difference? Shop local and buy independent!)