In Fiddlehead, Cherie Priest ends the Clockwork Century with a bangAndrew Liptak12/04/13 3:20pmFiled to: book reviewfiddleheadcherie priestalternate historybookssteampunk181EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkIn 2009, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker introduced readers to her Clockwork Century alternate history series, set in a United States where the Union was never reunited in 1865. It was a fun, durable world, full of zombies, weird drugs, giant machines, and zeppelin pilots. Now it comes to a satisfying end with Fiddlehead.Some spoilers ahead. AdvertisementAdvertisementFiddlehead follows a former slave, Gideon Bardsley, inventor and patron of former President Abraham Lincoln and his pet project, a calculating machine nicknamed 'Fiddlehead', which has spat out something that worries just about everyone. Fiddlehead predicts that if the United States can't bring the war to a close, the growing zombie plague is going to run out of control and everyone - Union and Confederate - will lose. Lurking in the shadows is also another a plot that'll hasten the end of the United States by destroying the Fiddlehead and its creator. The various elements that make up Fiddlehead have been building over the course of the series: we saw the zombies first appear as an immediate threat in Boneshaker, and on the loose in Dreadnought. Other books have featured the impact of Sap, a drug derived from the gas, and their ghastly consequences. Fiddlehead has some big arcs to finish out, all the while maintaining a standalone story. It mostly works, and Priest brings the story to a satisfying conclusion that sees some familiar characters return from the earlier works in the series.