The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest

Yowza. Priest’s Clockwork Century novels have never lacked for attractive covers, but I think this one might take the cake. Instead of the traditional browns and greys that defined the previous covers, this time around we’re given a nice splash of blue and orange that really makes the whole image pop.

The art is by Cliff Nielsen, his first time working on the Clockwork Century novels (previous covers were painted by the equally awesome Jon Foster, and you might recognize him for the amazing covers he did for N.K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy (like The Kingdom of Gods). I’m glad to see Nielsen getting even more exposure, he’s one of my favourite artists.

An a synopsis:

Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but that was years ago. Wreck has grown up, and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the orphanage.

And Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a home. He’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply of the sap he sells. He’s also pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know—Zeke Wilkes, who almost certainly died six months ago. Zeke would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place, and that was probably what killed him.Maybe it’s only a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore, so he sneaks over the wall.

The walled-off wasteland of Seattle is every bit as bad as he’d heard, chock-full of the hungry undead and utterly choked by the poisonous, inescapable yellow gas. And then there’s the monster. Rector’s pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human—and not a rotter, either. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicables.”

In the process of tracking down these creatures, Rector comes across another incursion through the wall — just as bizarre but entirely attributable to human greed. It seems some outsiders have decided there’s gold to be found in the city and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the pie unless Rector and his posse have anything to do with it.

Much to my shame, I haven’t actually read any of the Clockwork Century novels, so I can’t really comment on the synopsis above. Hopefully you’ve found it enjoyable/interesting, though!

The Inexplicables is set for release on November 12th, 2012.

  • Andrew Liptak March 16, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I’m a big fan of this one. Looks like it’ll reinforce the series with a couple of characters.

  • Dave Thompson March 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Wow, that’s an incredible cover. You’re right that Priest’s Clockwork Century books always get good ones, but this might be my favorite…

  • Jesse March 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    That is a very nice cover. I’ve never read any of her books (or true steampunk books) so I have no idea if it’s any good. But the cover is definitely nice.

  • Carl V. March 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    It is a nice cover. I have read the first two books and enjoyed each one very much. I have the latest and obviously better get to reading it soon before this one comes out. She seems to be managing about one a year right now.