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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Sky piracy is a bit out of Darian Frey’s league. Fate has not been kind to the captain of the airship Ketty Jay—or his motley crew. They are all running from something. Crake is a daemonist in hiding, traveling with an armored golem and burdened by guilt. Jez is the new navigator, desperate to keep her secret from the rest of the crew. Malvery is a disgraced doctor, drinking himself to death. So when an opportunity arises to steal a chest of gems from a vulnerable airship, Frey can’t pass it up. It’s an easy take—and the payoff will finally make him a rich man.

But when the attack goes horribly wrong, Frey suddenly finds himself the most wanted man in Vardia, trailed by bounty hunters, the elite Century Knights, and the dread queen of the skies, Trinica Dracken. Frey realizes that they’ve been set up to take a fall but doesn’t know the endgame. And the ultimate answer for captain and crew may lie in the legendary hidden pirate town of Retribution Falls. That’s if they can get there without getting blown out of the sky

This was a fun science fiction/pirate book reminiscent of the Firefly series, but without any love interest.  Retribution Falls is set on a world caught between having flying ships but yet power on the ground is generators,  so it comes across as a blending of subtle steam punk and space piracy.  It is also a story about finding oneself.  As our ill-lucked Captain of the Ketty Jay  finds himself a wanted man, he also begins to realize he holds the fate of his cobbled together crew in his hands.  And they find they need to learn to depend on each other as much as themselves. 

My one complaint comes back to how  the book reminded me of Firefly - a crew on the lam, living on the fringes of society, sneaking into and out of places they can't be found, having done dubious things that they don't want anyone else to know about.  The book at one point even had this societies version of Reavers (remember them?  Big nasty teeth?  Fly around in space looking for people to munch on? Yup. Got them here too.). 

This is by no means a in depth book on the ideology and morality of space pirates, but a fun beach read or even airport read.  Sit back and just enjoy.

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