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Time to get going on the other half of this blog’s mission and take on a book review.  No spoilers.

Title: Retribution Falls

Author: Christopher Wooding

Genre: SciFi/Fantasy/Steampunk

Background: This is my first time reading Chris Wooding. I do not recall exactly how I came across this book, but it had been kicking around on my reading list for at least a few months. Turns out this is the first installment in an ongoing series called The Tales of the Ketty Jay.

Plot Summary: The book introduces us to Captain Darian Frey and the ragtag crew of his airship, the Ketty Jay. Everyone on board, the captain included, has something from their past that they are running or hiding from. The crew consists of a formerly successful doctor undone by his alcoholism, an escaped slave from a hostile neighboring country, a newly recruited navigator with mysterious abilities, and an aristocratic practioner of the forbidden occult art of Daemonism (and his loyal golem). Supporting the crew are two fighter pilots, one a burned out Navy veteran, who is ill at ease with life outside his jet, and the other a young pilot whose fearless flying almost makes up for his complete lack of smarts. While the crew is neither close knit nor particularly successful, the Ketty Jay offers the individuals a means to keep one step ahead of the things they are trying to keep behind them.

The story gets going when Frey accepts a mission to pirate a freighter on behalf of a wealthy client offering a staggering payment. When the mission ends in disaster, it becomes apparent that Frey has been set up and become unwittingly involved in a scheme that reaches far beyond him and his crew. As the members of the Ketty Jay race to clear their names, they gradually learn to trust one another in order to confront the forces behind their failed raid. Interwoven into the story we get glimpses into the backgrounds of the characters that offer insights into the larger world Wooding has created and how they all came to find themselves on board the Ketty Jay.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed reading this book.  While it is not particularly deep, it instead offers plenty of action and narrow escapes making it entertaining steam opera fare.  The characters are developed enough to be engaging and the flashbacks enhance the story without feeling forced. I feel like there is potential here for this to become an entertaining series and will be keeping an eye out for the rest of the books as they become available at the local library.

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