My bestie Jay recommended The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher to me. I was a little wary at first because I’ve read the first book or two of his Dresden Files series and didn’t really like them, but because Jay had recommended it, I check it out and was immediately intrigued by the description:
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…
Sounds awesome right? Well I decided to give it a go (thank you public library), and I flew through it. It is my favourite book of 2016 so far.
The book has 6 main characters – including Grimm – that it filters perspectives through. The main group of characters are a diverse group, and that compliment each other very well. Each character plays their role perfectly, and each character always ends up surprising you with what they accomplish, or their self-realization. None of these 6 characters are two dimensional. They are incredibly multi-facetted and always ended up surprising me as I progressed through the book.
The plot line itself I found incredibly engaging. This is book one in a new series by Jim Butcher, so there is some obvious set up happening for a larger plot that the reader at the moment isn’t aware of. However, the plot was interesting, new and different, and kept me guessing. There was the main plot of the book and what was happening, which led well into the greater plot of the series. The flow of the storyline was really great, (I only thought that one part was a little too long and unnecessary) and the different characters’ perspectives kept everything fresh and interesting.
The world building is fantastic. There was enough of it that you understood how the world worked, but there wasn’t much origin story as to why it was that way. I liked that aspect because there was no massive explanations interrupting the flow of the story.
Overall, this was a fantastic book, and definitely my favourite of the year so far. I highly recommend it if you’re into fantasy at all, plus I mean come on – ships sailing in the sky? How cool is that?!