The Boneshaker: magic, latter-day Bradburian novel for young adults


12 Responses to “The Boneshaker: magic, latter-day Bradburian novel for young adults”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is that the Sandman’s Lucien?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m happy to see YA novels getting notice here. I’m a student librarian interested in youth services, but I still read YA novels new and old for pleasure as well. If we keep giving youth thought-provoking materials, we will see them tackling the bigger, juicier stuff later on.

  3. DEStrath says:

    Every once in a while the memory of the feeling I got when I first read Something Wicked This Way Comes creeps up on me and gives me the willies. There are very few books that have stayed with me that vividly or for that long, and yet when I try to capture and relate to friends the genius evident in Ray Bradbury I find it hard to collect the right words. Deliciously spooky is part of it. What I like most is that I read it as an adult and was instantly and powerfully thrown back into my own adolescence, like one of those Wilder Penfield brain experiments where an electrode is inserted into a conscious brain and a moment of the past is fully relived and remembered. Only it felt like Bradbury had been in there first and written it down.

  4. hiroken says:

    I have to agree with absolutely everything DEStrath said. Something Wicked This Way Comes was the book of my youth, along with Bradbury’s also unnerving The Halloween Tree and The Illustrated Man. All of his novels and stories resonate with an otherworldliness that is both intangible and staring you straight in the face, and no other author has ever captured that same unique magic.

    While I’m not expecting Bradbury, I still can’t wait to read The Boneshaker for myself, YA or not.

  5. License Farm says:

    Was it really necesssary to name this novel identically to Priest’s? I’m sorry, Ms. Milford, but it’s been LESS THAN A YEAR, and Ms. Priest beat you out the gate. I feel confident something a little different would have likely fared as well, if not better. As is, dirty pool.

    • Anonymous says:

      License Farm, it wasn’t intentional, and Priest herself was very gracious about the issue.

    • Ann Behar says:

      I see that Nathan has dispensed with this matter, but as Kate Milford’s agent, I still feel the need to comment. Kate fought to keep the original title of GINGERFOOT as hard as any debut author grateful to have her book published could fight. In the end, she was happy to have input into choosing a new title. She chose THE BONESHAKER for reasons that are obvious if you read the book, and we all felt pretty good about it. Imagine our surprise when we read about Cherie Priest’s BONESHAKER a couple of weeks after settling on the title! We even thought that the publisher would opt to choose a new title, but they felt strongly about keeping it, and the rest is history.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It was a long time ago, but the synopsis sounds eerily similar to “Something Wicked This Way Comes”..possibly the real difference being that the subject is a girl, not a boy…couldn’t imagine Bradbury trying on that costume…

  7. bwcbwc says:

    Based on the summary, this doesn’t sound merely “Bradburyesque” it sounds like it plagiarizes “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. I’ll give Ms. Milford the benefit of the doubt since the summary is not the work, but try to emphasize some of the ways the novel is NEW, and not just a remix.

  8. Talia says:

    I met Ms. Milford last weekend and picked up a promotional card she made for her book. Its quite lovely in and of itself; the front of it is basically the “flyer” image from this webpage:

    I’m happy to see her getting a shout out here and look forward to reading her book.

  9. Nathan Milford says:



    “Fans of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes will find lots of echoes in Kate Milford’s debut novel The Boneshaker. It’s a connection that is impossible to avoid what with the small town young protagonist facing off against a mysterious carnival filled with creepy workers and an even creepier head showman. But this is no rip-off of Bradbury; nor is it simply a pleasant homage. From the same basic plot trappings Milford has woven her own highly original and enjoyable tale, one that builds slowly and patiently into a wonderfully compelling and satisfying conclusion. ”

    Other relevent reviews/interviews:

    @License Farm

    See the following about the history of the title and Cherie & Kate’s correspondences about it. Cherie is the classiest woman around and has been absolutely fantastic about it.

    Caveat emptor, I’m the author’s husband so I’m a little sensitive to the matter.

    It is her first book and she was understandably upset about changing the title from Gingerfoot to The Boneshaker, then again finding out about Cherie’s novel.

    Having lived with the novel for ~5 years (and the novelist for 8) it is a bit disappointing that people are so cavalier about disparaging someone’s hard work. Comments like those above will certainly occur and Kate will need thick skin, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing. They’d be easier to accept if people had actually read the book or had any insight into the difficulties and politics a first time author needs to navigate on the road to publication, like choosing a title.

    P.S. We love Cherie Priest and will promote/flog/shout about her wonderful work til the day we die. And, really, after that if you take her penchant for Zombies literally :P

    - n

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