An Audit of The Aeronaut’s Windlass!
Greetings fellow Geeks, Freaks, and Nerds! I know, it’s been a while since Goody has graced you with his written words, lol. But Alas, I’M BACK!!
I’ve been reading lots of books while absent from our glorious site and today I’m going to mark my return with a brilliant new series from one of my favorite authors…. Mr. Jim Butcher. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jim’s work, he’s best known for his Dresden Files series where it follows the adventures and hardships of Harry Dresden, wizard, who works as a supernatural private investigator in Chicago, dealing with paranormal crimes and consulting for the Chicago Police Department. It’s one of my favorite series of books and comes with a high grade recommendation from me.
Jim, Sorry I like to pretend that Mr. Butcher and I are on a first name basis here, released his book number one of The Cinder Spires series named The Aeronaut’s Windless back in 2015 and I totally missed it’s release and didn’t find this little treasure until late last year. I know, so pathetic on my part. Here is the publishers summary of the book then we’ll dive into it without giving too much away.
“Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by 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.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.”
The story incorporates steampunk, magic, sailing, and all sorts of swashbuckling. There is no real electricity that works within the story, all power comes from steam or certain types of crystals that are harnessed for their power or energy. Such a cool new development in using a different method for energy within this world.
The world! So dangerous that no one lives on the actual planet but up in these very tall spires. We’re not given any information if this is a future Earth or another alien world. I’m leaning towards something new, even though it would be cool if this is a futuristic Earth. The way Jim incorporated steampunk with this new energy crystal is seriously neat, something new we haven’t seen yet in any story that I’ve encountered.
Steampunk has always fascinated me and I’ve begun drawing up plans for a steampunk cosplay outfit I could rock to future conventions, I even have my wife interested in doing it too.
I have to add that being a huge Butcher and Dresden Files fan I had a pretty good feeling that I was going to enjoy this new book. I wasn’t disappointed in any way. I finished the book relatively quick and even went back to reread several portions of the book just to get a clearer idea of what really transpired. Now, I must warn you, there is a TON detail within this book. I think Jim could have simplified a several things, but for me I’m not so sure I would have enjoyed it as much.
The world building within the story is fantastic, Jim gives the reader a clear picture for us to imagine what we’re reading and where the characters happen to be at any specific moment. Not once during and after my reading did I feel confused as to how a specific character, animal, monster, vehicle, or place looked and or felt.
The story is riddled with so many characters, but I had three favorites among them. My first being Rowl, I don’t wish to give away too much about this character because I think Rowl is someone you have to experience by reading about. That and you might laugh when I tell you who and what he is. The second and third favorite are kind of a tie for me. Both characters are written so darn well and really are true hero’s and neither really wanted to be either. First up is Bridget, who is one tough chick, very shy and has an inner warrior just screaming to get out. The last is Folly, who is such a loveable and funny character. Not that she’s the plucky sidekick or the one cracking all the jokes, it’s that Butcher really takes care to write this young woman so carefully so that you can’t just not love her and find her actions and comments funny.
It’s refreshing to see an emergence in the last few years of more and more strong female lead characters, and not just generic so-called “hardasses”, but strong characters that have been written very well. You’ll be seeing another book review soon that has more female leads.
This book was fantastic! I loved the new world, all of the characters (even the creepy ones), the battles in the air and face to face were epic and intense, and the plot was phenomenal! This is a must read for anyone and I’m looking forward to reading book two which is due out this year. Go pick this one up people, especially if you haven’t read any of Butcher’s other works. Feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss, let’s talk!