Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

Posted by Rebecca Brendel

Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I ReadThe Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher

Find It @YCLD: Here!  

What It's About: Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Loyal to the people of Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the coming war with Spire Aurora. He has accomplished this by disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines and attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

 The Cinder Spires have stood for thousands of years, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. They protect and shelter humanity from the harsh outside world where the light and very space you move can make a person mad, and the surface of the earth is all but inhospitable to normal life forms. There are many spires surrounding the earth, each with a different civilization and aristocratic house to govern within their halls. They have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

As Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. There is another enemy lurking in the shadows pulling the strings. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death is sure to follow in its wake…

What I Thought: I have rarely been able to get through a steampunk-type novel without a strong reason to enjoy the story. With all of the descriptions necessary to explain how inventions work and how things run it can get confusing. Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass exceeded my expectations in this regard. He did a wonderful job of integrating both the characters and the technology into the story without making the reader feel overwhelmed. The tone had a sort of matter-of-fact quality to the writing.

As you know from reading my other reviews, I enjoy strong or well-written characters in the stories I read. They can be broken. They can be romantic. As long as they show a well-rounded personality and traits you would find in the real-world that’s what I am looking for in a character. Jim delivered that for me. My favorite characters were Bridget and Rowl, and you will see why when reading it yourself.

Like Jim Butcher’s other books, he writes in an in-your-face manner when describing conflict and dangerous situations. Follow along and enjoy the ride. Remember, this is the first book in the series, he will expand on the culture, characters and scope of the world as it progresses. The first book is but a glimpse of conflict between only two spires and the people who fight for them.

Readalikes: Agatha H. and the airship city by Phil Foglio

Or look this book up on NoveList!