The Inexplicables: The Low-Down

This month is UK publication month for The Inexplicables! So WHAT you may ask IS THE SKINNY ON THIS ONE? Well, I’ll tell you, starting with an amended version of the flap copy.

Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but now he’s all grown up—and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the children’s home.

But Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a new place to live: for years, he’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply. Now he’s pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know—a kid who disappeared six months ago, and is almost certainly dead. If so, this old friend would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck’s the one who got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place.

Maybe the ghost is just a drug-fueled misfire of a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore. So he sneaks over the wall. Inside, he finds the wasteland of Seattle 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. This was something different. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicable.”

* * *

I’d say that’s pretty much the meat of it—but that’s definitely not the whole story. Inside The Inexplicables you’ll also find gangland mayhem, dynamite and time bombs, back-door deals, undead fauna, malicious chemistry, forgotten cemeteries, decrepit towers with treasure inside, Maynard’s jail, missing soldiers, fabricated zombies… and a whole lot more.

It’s true, this is my first book in the franchise without a female lead—though Princess Angeline and Mercy Lynch play fairly prominent roles; and it’s true also that people are assuming this is a young adult book, due to the protagonist’s age. And that’s fine—I hope young readers pick it up and enjoy it. But really, this is from the same planet as Boneshaker—a book written for adults and/or anyone else, but with a young person front and center.

I have been told that the young person in question is a disturbing, yet strangely compelling, jackass. I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment.

SO. If you’d like to read the first chapter of The Inexplicables, you can click right here. I’m not gonna lie—the first chapter is a little grim and weird, but I’m rather fond of it and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

So thank you to everyone for your time, your interest, and your readership. Thank you for everything.

This article originally appeared on the Tor UK blog.

Cherie Priest is a full-time novelist, perhaps most famous for the Clockwork Century series, starting with the highly-acclaimed and award-winning Boneshaker. She is also a member of the Wild Cards Consortium, George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe. She currently lives in Tennessee with her husband, and you can find out more about her Clockwork Century books at


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