Here is the premise for Boneshaker.
During the 1860’s, the Russian government holds a contest to see who can create a mining machine best suited for escalation of a gold vein in the Klondike. A scientist by the name of Leviticus Blue takes the challenge, but his creation does terrible damage to Seattle, forcing an evacuation due to a release of toxic gas that has some seriously catastrophic side effects, i.e. people turned in to “rotters.” The area is walled up. Some people remain inside to contend with the gas and the undead.
The main character, Briar Wilkes, pursues her teenage son into the city as he imparts on a foolhardy quest. Each has dangerous adventures and learns things that perhaps they might have feared to learn, had they known what they were really looking for.
All in all, I enjoyed Boneshaker and plan to continue with the series. Some of the writing is good, some is excellent. The story is a basic action adventure plot that moves at a good pace. I read some reviews after I started listening to the audiobook, and that might have prejudiced me negatively. For some reason the negative reviews stuck in my mind and I viewed each character and plot device through that tainted lens.
I finished the book and was glad I did. The only other Steampunk books I have read have been Japanese Steampunk (Stormdancer and Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff). So far I have enjoyed the genre and recommend these books for those who enjoy speculative fiction.