Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
Dreadnought is the sequel to Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and the better novel, in my opinion. The book takes place in the same setting as Boneshaker but with different characters. The United States has been war torn by the Civil War for decades and the main character Mercy Swakhammer, a nurse in the Civil War, is making her way across the country to see her father by train. One of the interesting developments in this novel is the introduction of the "rotters" (Cherie's zombies) to the rest of the country, where they are just running into the people-munching drug addicts. The train, the Dreadnought, is a character in itself and the passengers aboard with Mercy all have their backstory, enought to keep the reader entertained. The novel begins a bit slowly but rolls to an exciting finale with a crescendo of action, gore and guts. I am highly anticipating her third novel, due to release this fall called Ganymede.