The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Part 2

Well, folks, when I left you last, we were about halfway through Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. You can read my review of the first half here. Now that I’ve finished the second half, I can say with absolute certainty that I will be keeping up with this series.

The second half of the book was a lot of investigation into the enemies of Albion. Characters are running around, looking for clues and fighting monsters. And it’s all well paced, so that you are wanting to keep reading at the end of the chapter.

The romance sub plot develops and has an excellent ending. We also see Gwen finally mature a bit. And we get a hint at some far greater evil enemy that will no doubt come to bear in the sequels.

But the best part for me, and perhaps the part I was most looking forward to, happens at the climax. We finally get to see an aerial battle. I’ve always enjoyed reading these and would have been very disappointed if Butcher hadn’t delivered on the unspoken promise to feature one. There’s lots of cannon fire and aerial acrobatics to keep you intrigued for the last fifty or so pages. It was exhilarating and I found my own heart speeding up with the ebb and flow of battle, a difficult task with the number of battle scenes I’ve read over the years.

And Butcher ends the novel well, which is a difficult task to accomplish. We are left knowing that evil is coming and that bad things are going to happen. And because we are connected to  the characters now, we will have to follow them into their futures. Very excited for the sequel when it comes. I give this novel a solid 4/5.

The next read will be Salvatore’s Sojourn, Book 3 in the Dark Elf Trilogy. Stay tuned for a review.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Part 1

519T2WI7QgL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_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.

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