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The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by [Hunt, Stephen]
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The Kingdom Beyond the Waves Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 564 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

‘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

‘More than a dash of Jules Verne … an entertaining and imaginative journey into the unknown’ DeathRay

‘To say this book is action packed is almost and understatement … a wonderful escapist yarn… Definitely a book to take with you on a long flight’ Interzone

Praise for The Court of the Air:

‘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

‘Wonderfully assured … Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension’ Time Out

‘Rich and colourful … keeps you engrossed … a confident, audacious novel’ SFX

‘Like a magpie, Stephen Hunt has plucked colourful events from history and politics and used them for inspiration … Hunts tells his full-blooded tale with lip-smacking relish, revealing a vivid, often gruesome imagination … ‘The Court of the Air’ brims with originality and, from the first, its chase-filled plot never lets up’ Starburst

‘The best book of 2007 … Think Joan Aiken for grown-ups, with echoes of Susanna Clarke … hugely enjoyable’ Historical Novels Review

Review

Praise for The Court of the Air:

‘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

‘Wonderfully assured … Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension’ Time Out

‘Studded with invention’ Independent

‘Rich and colourful … keeps you engrossed … a confident, audacious novel’ SFX

‘Like a magpie, Stephen Hunt has plucked colourful events from history and politics and used them for inspiration … Hunts tells his full-blooded tale with lip-smacking relish, revealing a vivid, often gruesome imagination … ‘The Court of the Air’ brims with originality and, from the first, its chase-filled plot never lets up’ Starburst

‘The best book of 2007 … Think Joan Aiken for grown-ups, with echoes of Susanna Clarke … hugely enjoyable’ Historical Novels Review


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1151 KB
  • Print Length: 564 pages
  • Publisher: HarperVoyager (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI916C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #210,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never felt the need to spread news of new authors beyond friends and family. I recommended Pratchett, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais, all great, great authors to family and friends. Well Stephen Hunt is up there. His books(all three in this series, although one early novel is out of print) have nods to Jules Verne, H G Wells, and the great British traditions of Science Fiction - character driven, great back story, superb use of historical parallels, and most importantly, a story that once you start it you are loathe to put down, ironically, Mr hunt is American, doing Steam punk better than anyone. I have not felt as enthused about an author since I read "In the electric mist with the confederate dead" by James Lee Burke. These books are fabulous. If you love "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" the books, not the appalling film, you will love these. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Start at book one, court of the air, and give it your full attention. There is a lot of story, but it all works out so well that you simply put the book down and sigh. In disappointment because it is over.
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By Mark Chisholm TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book thoroughly and if you are a bit of a steampunk fan then this would probably apeal to you as well. It's not completely steampunk but has many of the artifices used. Slightly more sureal and clearly based upon a Victorian England but with many of the Victorian facets stretched to their extremes. It's a good adventure yarn too. A race through forbidden lands with a band of brigands coming up against mad professor types, weird life, monsters, and treacherous companions. If I could put a mix of genres together that describe Stephen Hunt's books (the two in this series) would be steampunk, a little sci-fi, some H Rider Haggard and a liberal dose of the ghastly. I don't give it five stars because it perhaps tries too hard to be different and maybe can be a little over the top. Good book overall though for alternate history and sci-fi fans.
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By wolfers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of Stephen Hunt.For me they hark back to good old fashioned sci fi in the mould of H.G.Wells and Jules Verne who's books I adore.I read each of Hunts books in a matter of days and CAN'T wait for the next installment.Love the old style drawings on the covers also,brings to mind. Strand magazine drawings.Recommend strongly.
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a sequel to Hunt's "The Court of the Air", taking place a few months after the earlier story ends and involving some of the same characters. It stands alone, but if you haven't read "Court" I would do so first (for a start, it is an excellent read).

Both books focus on the kingdom of Jackals, a state that bears some similarity to late 18th/ early 19th century Britain, guarded by a trusty fleet of airships from the fiendish plots of neighbouring revolutionary Quatreshift. Jackals sees itself as the beacon of liberty, but that is relative: for example, the titular King has his arms removed so that he can't lift his hands against the people.

"Court of the Air" featured an invasion of Jackals by Quatreshift, foiled by agents of the Court itself (which literally watches over Jackals) assisted by a race of steam powered robots, the oddly sympathetic steammen. Much of the action of "Kingdom", in contrast, takes place outside Jackals, on an expedition (by submarine!) to seek the ruins of a lost, peaceful civilization which it is hoped can elevate the state of the world. This trip upriver into the deep jungle has overtones of "Heart of Darkness" combined with a dollop of "The Lost World" as our heroes (and heroines) battle with a sentient vegetable empire, steammen turned savage and giant lizards. The tension increases throughout. There is a saboteur on the boat - but who is it, and what do they want?

In the second part we learn more about the true motives for the trip, and in a conclusion worthy of a James Bond film, the survival of the human race is at stake.

The world of Jackals (perhaps Earth, far in the future?) is well realised.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Hunt's first book 'Court of the Air' seem to fall into that 'love it or loath it' category, and so had very mixed reviews on here. I presume people contemplating this book have already read COTA and enjoyed it.

If so you are unlikely to be disappointed with 'kingdom beyond the waves'. It offers the same breathtaking mix of wonder and nightmare and holds up a fair ground mirror to our own world and history reflecting back a place that is both alien, weird and yet strangely familiar.

Hunt does non stop action as well as anyone, it's breathless stuff but beautifully told, going up and down the action gears so smoothly you hardly notice you have crept to the edge of your seat.

The story largely drops the heroes Molly and Oliver from COTA and gives centre stage to Amelia Harsh and Commodore Black who both featured, but to a much lesser degree last time. It also introduces us to 'Furnace Breath Nick' and his able side kick Septimoth a couple of brilliant anti-heroes. They are all swept along in a story of lost civilizations, giant airships, Amazonian warrior women, rogue robots and so much more!

Then the book gives us a giant 'James Bond' climax. Time running out to save the world, heroes battling their arch enemies amid a larger battle and an arch villian seemingly unable to say 'kill them' instead opting for 'take them away'. Very 007 but with that distinctive Jackalian twist.

I love these books though appreciate they are not to everyones taste. This offering is not as grim and black as COTA, and perhaps does not manage the same ongoing level of tension, but on a big plus side now being familiar with Hunt's world I was able to race into the story full tilt without having to stumble through the first 200 pages wondering what an earth was going on.
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