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Jack Cloudie (Jackelian 5) Paperback – 16 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (16 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007289677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007289677
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 505,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Stephen Hunt is a fantasy, science fiction, crime and thriller author who lives in Spain and the UK. His current fantasy works are within the 'Far-called' series, published by Gollancz (the genre imprint of Orion/Hachette) . . . with adventures set on Pellas, a massive and fascinating planet where radio signals take centuries to be passed along a chain of guild stations, and merchant caravans can travel for millennia without retracing their steps.

The first two exciting novels in this series are 'In Dark Service' and 'Foul Tides Turning', and focus on the Carnehan family, whose lives are torn apart in a terrible slave raid on the town of Northhaven.

Hunt is arguably best known for his best-selling Jackelian series of novels from HarperCollins, also the publisher of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis in the UK, the success of the first of which, 'The Court of the Air', gave rise to a genre called steampunk.

The Jackelian world is a fantasy adventure set in a far-future Earth where the passage of time has erased almost all memory of our current world from history. Electricity is now unreliable and classed as a dark power, with many of the nations of the world existing at a Victorian level of development and relying on steam-power, mechanical nanotechnology and biotechnology to survive and prosper.

It is an age of strange creatures, flashing blades, steammen servants, airship battles and high adventure.

Each novel is written as a stand-alone work, but share the same world and many of the same characters who criss-cross between the novels (a technique shared with fellow British fantasy author Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series).

Foreign language and international editions of the six novels of the Jackelian series have been sold to Tor Books (USA), Albin Michel (France), Verlagsgruppe Random House (Germany), Enterbrain Manga and Anime (Japan), Edições Saída de Emergência (Portugal), Paidós (Spain), AST (Russia), and the Anhui Literature and Art Publishing House (China).

Stephen maintains his own web site over at www.StephenHunt.net and when he is not writing, he can be found indulging in such interests as cooking, gardening, collecting comic-books, and building his collections of genre novels.

He still sometimes writes for the magazine he helped to found, www.SFcrowsnest.org.uk, the first science fiction web site.

Product Description


Praise for Stephen Hunt:

‘Hunt’s imagination is probably visible from space. He scatters concepts that other writers would mine for a trilogy like chocolate-bar wrappers. This is Philip Pullman with a dose of benzedrine. Hold on to your hat and let yourself get carried away.’ Tom Holt

'A ripping yarn … the story pounds along … constant inventiveness keeps the reader hooked … the finale is a cracking succession of cliffhangers and surprise comebacks. Great fun' SFX

'An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels' Lisa Tuttle, The Times

'The characters are convincing and colourful, but the real achievement is the setting, a hellish take on Victorian London … the depth and complexity of Hunt's vision makes it compulsive reading for all ages' Guardian

About the Author

Stephen Hunt has worked as a writer, editor and publisher for a number of magazines and national newspaper groups in the UK. He is also the founder of www.SFcrowsnest.com, one of the oldest and most popular fan-run science fiction and fantasy websites. Born in Canada, the author divides his time between the UK, North America and Spain. His interests include computer programming, the graphic arts and collecting comics. One day he hopes to have a library large enough to house all of his books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 July 2011
Format: Paperback
"Jack Cloudie" is the 5th instalment in Hunt's Jackelian far future sort-of-steampunk sequence, and I found it one of the most enjoyable to date, a straightforward adventure epic with plenty of derring do which reminded me of Rider Haggard or (The Lost World) Conan Doyle crossed with CS Forrester's "Hornblower".

If you haven't read the previous volumes - The Court of the Air, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, The Rise of the Iron Moon and Secrets of the Fire Sea - then a bit of background may help understand "Jack Cloudie". The time is thousands of years from now, at least one Ice Age having passed since our day, and the world is divided between states that both resemble, and differ from, our own. The most notable differences are in technology, with electricity having become dangerous and hard to control. Instead of computers, vast steam-driven "transaction engines" - sort of super Babbage machines - carry out computations, and sentient versions of them run in the "steammen", intelligent automatons who have their own "Free State".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Thanks to his father's gambling debts, young Jack Keats finds himself on the streets trying to graft enough coin to keep him and his two younger brothers fed.

When a daring bank robbery goes awry, Jack narrowly escapes the scaffold on to be pressed into the Royal Aerostatical Navy. Assigned to the most useless airship in the fleet, serving under a captain who's is most probably mad, Jack seems to be bound for almost certain death in the far-away deserts of Cassarabia.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Omar ibn Barir, the slave of a rich merchant lord, is unexpectedly freed and enters into the service of the Caliph's military forces - just as war is brewing.

Two very similar young men prepare to face each other across senseless field of war. But is Omar the enemy, or is Jack's true nemesis the sickness at the heart of the Caliph's court? If Jack and his shipmates can discover what Cassarabia's aggressive new regime is trying to conceal, he might survive the most horrific of wars and clear his family's name. If not...

I have to admit that prior to picking up Jack Cloudie I hadn't read any of Stephen Hunt's previous novels. I'd heard his name mentioned around the Internet but I had never considered actively seeking out any of his work. What changed then? Why am I reviewing the fifth book in an ongoing series? Shortly after my last birthday at the end of July I was in my local bookshop and I spotted the cover for the book. A Victorian gentleman dressed to the nines with a top hat and cane. In the background, airships float in the evening sky. I have to admit I was intrigued and decided, on the strength of this cover, I'd give the book a go.

I am so glad I went with my gut and took a chance on this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I love a great bit of Steampunk and striking out in a world of his own choosing Stephen returns with a brand new cast, a cracking lead and an overall arc that really is mind boggling. Add to this Stephen's own writing style that those who remember The Crown and the Dragon fell in love with, great prose alongside an I can do it attitude and it's a tale that really keeps on giving that sets the tone for future adventures.

All in this title was a hell of a lot of fun and with an extremely intelligent as well as gifted antihero in the lead it was one that takes the reader on a journey that few others would tread as the character could just as likely have ended up being detestable. For god, for the Sovereign and for Country provided that self-interest is looked after first. Cracking fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well it was Hunt who got me into Fantasy's weird little brother 'Steampunk' with the befuddling but fantastic 'Court of the Air' and has had me returning to the country of Jackels pretty regularly ever since.

There are a few good exponents of the art of Steampunk writing about, but I've yet to find another so consistantly brilliant as Hunt. His books are a heady cocktail of sc-fi, fantasy, history, comedy, trajedy and just the downright strange.

This time out we finally take to the skies with RAN who have featured but never starred in all of Hunts previous books. And of course Hunt takes his inspiration from the British Navy in all it's pomp and glory/ Napoleonic era. Young master Keats a master safe breaker and card sharp is saved from the gallows and pressed into service on board an experimental and seemingly failed iron clad air ship. His ship mates are Hunts usual collection of bizarre and larger than life characters with of course the obligatory steamman!.

What follows is an ill fated mission deep into Cassarabia, Jackels long time sparring partner and a story of so many ups and downs I won't even try and give a plot synopsis, but trust me when I tell you it is a ride of high adventure and more twists and turns than a ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Previously I have been a bit critical of Hunts 'comeuppances'. In that some of his previous baddies have been despatched a bit too quickly and bloodlessly for someone as vindictive and vengeful as me to enjoy but without wanting to give anything away, this time? No complaints!

Hunt has created a compelling and terrifying world and another great book and I am thoroughly looking forward to the next!
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