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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling steam-punk fun
Retribution falls was one of the most entertaining reads I've had in a long while and its sequel, Black Lung Captain, manages to surpass it. While I liked the characters in Falls, the sequel actually made me care about them too. I was really surprised to see what I thought were going to be two long running character arcs concluded in a surprising yet logical way but I...
Published on 9 Aug. 2010 by Neil J. Pearson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Still a good escape
A bit drawn out, the action is a bit forced. Not to say it does not satisfy a need to read but not as good as the first
Published 9 months ago by US TV Couch Potato


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling steam-punk fun, 9 Aug. 2010
By 
Neil J. Pearson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Retribution falls was one of the most entertaining reads I've had in a long while and its sequel, Black Lung Captain, manages to surpass it. While I liked the characters in Falls, the sequel actually made me care about them too. I was really surprised to see what I thought were going to be two long running character arcs concluded in a surprising yet logical way but I guess Chris wants to go in other directions with those characters. The rest of the crew. outside of Frey, Jez and Crake get a stronger outing this time too and each of them has their own little arc or moment to shine (including the cat) - although it would be nice to see Malvery face his demons in the future.
The book has a brisk pace from start to finish and there's never a dull moment with a perfect blend of action, comedy and drama. The aerial combat sequences are also fun and well described giving a sense of chaos and believability. I also like how there is a "sciency" approach to the magic/daemonism in the series which fits well with the steampunk world.
I've no idea where the next adventure of the Ketty Jay will go but if it's anywhere near as fun as the first two I'll be looking forward to it. It's nice to read a modern fantasy that can be edgy and fun at the same time. Too many go down the dark and moody route these days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable follow up to Retribution Falls, 9 Feb. 2011
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The Black Lung Captain is the second book in the Tales of the Ketty Jay. The first book, Retribution Falls, was one of my favourite reads last year and I was keen, if not a little hesitant, to get back with Frey and his crew for another adventure. When you read a book you enjoy so much it's always a little worrying that you'll pick up another only to find it doesn't meet the expectations you have for it. Fortunately The Black Lung Captain met, and even exceeded, my expectations and proved that Chris Wooding can write a damned fine adventure novel with characters you'll come to love. Again.

As we rejoin the crew of the Ketty Jay it is clear that not all is well. Resorting to stealing from an orphanage, a simple job that even Frey and his crew manage to botch, highlights this fact to a tee. All becomes clear that each member of the crew are dealing with their own problems, from Jez and her hidden secret as part-Mane, to Crake and his unbearable guilt over the death (and subsequent reincarnation as a Golem) of his niece, Bess. Add to the mix an offer by Captain Grist of the Storm Dog to join him in the search of untold treasure on a remote and dangerous island and you've got a stonking story that goes from strength to strength.

Story-wise, The Black Lung Captain is high on double-crossings, action, adventure and a nice amount of intrigue. From the opening chapter where the Ketty Jay try to loot the aforementioned orphanage, and the mess they get in as a result, it's clear that Chris Wooding has brought everything that made Retribution Falls so good back to the table. When the story evolves into the treasure finding mission, then to the inevitable 'searching for the missing item to save lives', it's evident that we're getting a huge story here. With Manes, Awakeners, Tranica Dracken, the Century Knights, and Daemonism all present, there's very little not to like.

While the story initially sounds like a simple progression of events that lead Frey and the Ketty Jay from one place to another, it's far more than that. With further details emerging about the Manes and the Awakeners, Wooding is building the world and history very well indeed. There were aspects in Retribution Falls when I wished more time could be spent exploring them, but they've been raised and looked at in The Black Lung Captain, incorporated into the story to give strength to an already impressive plot.

The characters are all back and, with the inclusion of Captain Grist, make a fine contribution to the novel. We get to see more of the little details developed here, from Harkins and his ongoing troubles with Slag the cat, to Pinn's idolised love who he left at home long ago. Each character has the attention they deserve. Personally I found Jez's plight one of the best, the truth about her half-Mane heritage finally becoming common knowledge and just how the others react to that. However, Crake's breakdown because of his guilt over Bess' death is another well-handled development, showing strong characterisation on Wooding's part. Speaking of Bess, she steals the show every time we see her.

Perhaps the biggest, and most changed, relationship in The Black Lung Captain is between Frey and Tranica Dracken. Dracken, being Frey's jilted (at the altar) fiance from years past and central to the Ketty Jay's lack of fortune after the ending of Retribution Falls, is a much more central character in The Black Lung Captain. When Dracken's ship, the Delirium Trigger, steals the stolen goods from them, it all kicks off. But as the story progresses we start to see more interaction between Dracken and Frey, and much of this fills in the gaps of their history, but also shows different sides to both of them. Really good stuff!

Suffice to say that I enjoyed The Black Lung Captain enormously. It has everything I want from a good book - great characters, superb story, plenty of action, and all the little extras that add to the story. While I'd recommend this in a heartbeat, you really need to read Retribution Falls first to fully enjoy it. Don't worry, that's no chore either, and I'm sure you'll discover what I already have: Chris Wooding writes one hell of a novel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure joy., 3 Jan. 2011
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I read the first in this series, Retribution Falls a couple of weeks ago and liked it enough to buy this one too. Well, what a fun 2 days I've had reading it - I really didn't expect that the author could make me like his characters so much! All of the crew of the Ketty Jay have their own problems, they all have things that they are hiding from; in essence you shouldn't really like them for some of the things that they've done, but you can't help it. You can't help but feel that bond and rejoice in the camaraderie. It's just pure joy really, Trinica, Malvery, Crake, Jez, Silo and Cap'n Frey - wonderful characters, beautifully written with an excellent story to star in. There is action, a fine line between good and evil, suspense and so many laughs. You realise how well it's written when one word from Malvery can make you chuckle, when you're willing Harkins on in his ongoing battle with Slag.

Ah, I just plain and simple loved it. Can't wait for 3 and 4.

Whilst you don't have to read Retribution Falls first, I would wholeheartedly recommend it so that you can spend as much time with the Ketty Jay crew as possible.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More swashbuckling fantasy from the crew of the Ketty Jay, 9 Sept. 2010
By 
Mr. R. D. Turner (Derby, UK) - See all my reviews
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Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1) was a brilliant book. It was basically a thriller set on a fantasy world where technology has achieved powered flight but folks still fight with cutlasses. It had the difficult job of introducing a lot of new characters, making them believable whilst at the same time providing an interesting plot. It did this in spades. Pathos, wit and adventure. Great stuff

So how is the next book in the series? The short answer is more of the same however it pretty much demands that you read Retribution Falls first. If you don't then Jez, Crake and Trinica are going to be baffling. The Black Lung Captain has less time devoted to character development and more time spent on action but that is not to say the characterisation has suffered. On the contrary, Jez, Crake and Frey all have a lot of development and there is daemonism galore.

The tale unfolds with Frey chasing a get rich quick scheme. All he has to do is go into the jungle, get Crake to open the door on an old aircraft and split the treasure 50:50. It doesn't work out that way and the chase is on. Manes, daemonism, airborne battles, century nights, awakeners - all are present and correct.

Brilliant fun and if there is another in the series I will buy it on sight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Retribution Falls, 18 Jan. 2011
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simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
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I loved Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1); it was fun, fast, and full of mental characters. I knew I would like this one, and got it as soon as I heard it was out. I was not disappointed.

There is a lot of focus in this book on the characters' back-stories. We spend some time with Crake trying to fix his "mistake", Jex coming to terms with being half-Mane, Harkins fight with Slag, the cat (even some pages devoted to Slag's side of the fight), Pinn and his sweetheart Lisinda, and Frey and Trinica Draken. The development of the characters was well done, and the story moved at a good pace.

I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series, whenever that will be. I would recommend this book, and others by Chris Wooding.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow up, 5 Aug. 2010
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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A very welcome follow up to the excellent Retribution Falls. Hard not to link this to the TV series Firefly in terms of concept, the crew and the bad guys (reavers in Firefly, the Mane in this) blended in with a bit of pirate/freebooter type action in a SF/world and you have the picture.

So not original, but an awful lot of fun. The crew is heavily diverse, all with their own secrets, defects and agendas - banter and humour abound and you really do connect with these guys as their characters come off the page. This fast paced story follows the crew as they chase the big money payoff from a downed vessel and, as you would expect, nothing is what it seems as the plot twists and turns through double cross and various capers, to an end that comes all too soon.

Yes you do have to wait until three quarters of the way through the book to understand it's title and yes you do kind of know where things are going, but this is pure escapism and a fun romp from start to finish. Highly recommended if you read and enjoyed Retribution Falls, if you haven't then you have missed out and you should add it, and then this, to your reading pile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read, 2 Jan. 2011
By 
S. Ijioma "Skim" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book for those connoisseurs of scifi/fantasy who enjoy something light but satisfying. The characters that were in danger of being a bit two-dimensional in Retribution Falls are filled in. Action abounds. There is a fair amount of gore but that's ok. Trinica becomes properly interesting as a personality. All the loose threads get tied up. I almost ended up cheering and clapping! This is a keeper. I have no doubt I'll go back and read it again which I rarely say about any book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic follow-up!, 16 July 2013
By 
Tim (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Lung Captain: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tale of the Ketty Jay) (Paperback)
I loved this book, from the first page to the last. It is simply tremendous fun and superbly written, it would have me laughing out loud on one page and on the next I would be on the edge of my seat desperate to read on. It had me almost in tears at the funeral of a character who had never even been in the book!

The characters, introduced in the first book, are now expanded on and we see their relationships develop in a very real and believable way. My favourite was the mutual animosity between the fighter pilot 'Hawkins' and 'Slag' the ships cat, and we see it from both their point of views.

Every character has their own distinct personality without conforming to stereotypes. The story has perfect pacing, never boring and never going over the top, Wooding remembers to bring it back to the characters as they are the heart and soul. I cannot think of a single thing I didn't enjoy about it.

Blurring the lines between Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Black Lung Captain is a triumph that will appeal to everyone. I cannot wait to read more Wooding!
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4.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?, 17 Aug. 2011
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Book Addict "jackie" (ABERGAVENNY, MONMOUTHSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is the second book in the Ketty Jay series. I enjoyed the first very much and this second outing for Captain Frey and his crew doesn't disappoint.
Yet again Captain Frey and his (Extremely) motley crew are off in search of untold riches from an abandoned ship on another world. Double crosses, plot twists and various types of mayhem ensue.
Along the way we learn more about the crew members and what makes them tick, to me, Jez and Crake are the most interesting and I'd love the author to write 'back story novels' with either of them as the main protagonists.
There is a humorous sub story with the ongoing battle between Slag the ship's cat and Harkins. And poor old Pinn... will he ever learn!
The book is written with a light touch, plenty of sly humour and satisfying dialogue between Captain Frey and the two women he left behind him!
All in all I'd have to say that it is an enjoyable read and I can't wait for the next book which is already on my wish list
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first, 19 Sept. 2011
I love this book! The Black Lung Captain is even better than its predecessor in terms of plot and character backstories. Learning about the individual crew members throughout their adventures helps to explain why they act the way they do and brings them closer together - you really feel for them as they slowly realise they actually do care about each other between all their banter and arguments. The plot concerning the Awakaners and the Manes and the link between them deepens, and takes what seems to originally be a small-scale storyline to a huge revelation that concerns the entire world, with the Ketty Jay's crew - as always - stuck right in the middle of it. As always Wooding's descriptions and attention to detail are amazing - I particularly like the names he gives to his characters, and how they manage to fit their personalities exactly, a nice touch. Highly recommended!
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