Friday, August 28, 2009

If you like Gonen's World...'ll love "The Court of the Air," by Stephen Hunt.
This story - the first of a trilogy - takes place on a world not unlike our own, although whether it's an alternate history or a completely fantastical world is not clear. If I had to describe this genre in a word, I'd call it "steampunk." Airships, robots ("steam men"), analytical engines the size of gymnasiums, guns with glass bullets, and airships...all of that fits, right? Add to that a heavy dose of "faerie" magic of the Celt-loving-girl variety, ultra-violent mayhem, and a culture that's just weird - the king of the Kingdom of Jackals (a "hellish take on Victorian London," according to one reviewer), where most of the story takes place, must have his arms cut off upon ascending the throne, for example - and you've got all the makings of a really cool adventure. The story follows two orphaned teens - Molly Templar and Oliver - who both have mysterious backgrounds. Molly has an intuitive understanding of how the steam men and other machines work, while Oliver is blessed/cursed with a touch of the fey. Against a background of political turmoil, fast-paced action and intrigue, this is just a first-rate adventure story from start to finish. If you like that sort of thing, why not give this a read? If anyone wants to borrow it, let me know!

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