When I was growing up, I remember Treasure Planet coming out and loving it. I read Treasure Island as a kid and it was okay, but this new idea that the ships were in space and flying through the air, with aliens and what not, completely set my imagination going.
That same joy of pirates and ships flying through the air naturally drew me to Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. I’ve only read a couple of Butcher’s Dresden Files and thought they were pretty decent, having heard my work compared it his from many friends and colleagues. But I am happy to say that I’ve really enjoyed reading The Aeronaut’s Windlass.
I’ve decided to split my review up into two parts. This is really a large book, over 600 pages. And to be honest, I’m only halfway through it. (Remember, I’ve also go
a full time job, writing, and being a father. Reading happens, just slower than I’d like some times.)
The novel is firmly rooted in the steampunk genre, with interesting gauntlets that shoot etherium and ships powered by steam and ethereal winds. There are warriorborn characters who have lion blood in them. And there are talking cats, which was pretty neat.
The book was a bit of a slow start for me. I really like to jump in and get to the action quick, but with 600 plus pages, I could understand taking a little more time. Butcher takes the time to craft some very interesting characters who you come to really root for. Captain Grimm is by far my favorite, this stoic captain of the Predator. He runs a tight ship, as they say, but he has a past that we don’t quite understand but I am excited to learn more about as the book progresses. The other main character of the main cast is Gwen Lancaster. Gwen is a very naive and confident noble. Her character is the one that I hope to see the most growth in as I read more. She is very sure of her ways and it gets her into a lot of trouble. But she’s also just turned 18 and we can all remember having that confidence at that age.
The book has many aspects that would appeal to all kinds of readers, from steampunk to mystery to military, even a little romance is starting to develop. I highly recommend it so far, at least the first half. We shall see how things go though.
Stay tuned for Part 2 and my final thoughts on the novel. Until then, here’s a photo of a tattoo a friend of mine has, wishing you all a beautiful life.