RogerBW's Blog

The Black Lung Captain, Chris Wooding 21 December 2017

2010 steampunk fantasy. Darian Frey is still just barely holding the airship Ketty Jay and her crew of misfits together, and once more he's going to get in way over his head.

It's been over a year since I read Retribution Falls, and I think that's probably about the right mental distance… because this is very much the same sort of story, complete with gradually increasing emotional oscillations (mild despair, mild elation, major despair, major elation, really amazingly terrible despair, etc.), and a heavy emphasis on crew as family, who are the most important things to you even if you don't always like them very much. It's feel-good reading that tries to push all the emotional buttons even if it hasn't always earned the right to do so.

There are betrayals and sudden appearances and gosh-wow moments, and more seriously there's some development of the Manes, which in the first book were mostly a zombie-style horde of inhuman killers. Frey is still the author of at least half the things wrong in his life, but he develops (to his own surprise, never mind the reader's) a remarkable nobility, apparently as the result of trying to think about what he actually wants from life. (If I have to read a mid-life crisis book, let it at least be one with airships in it!)

Each of the other characters also gets some development, some rather more than others; although it's still facile, I think this book manages to move a little beyond the basic "this bad thing happened to him so he's like this now" that was the main approach of the first volume.

Things do move a bit slowly, particularly in the first half, but overall this is a step up from the mind-candy of the first book. Followed by The Iron Jackal.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

See also:
Retribution Falls, Chris Wooding

Previous in series: Retribution Falls | Series: Tales of the Ketty Jay | Next in series: Iron Jackal

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1