Jaq D Hawkins opens up a wonderful, strange but weird, world to the reader and provides a welcome escape from the humdrum banality of everyday life. You can lose yourself in a fantasy of airships, pirates, pitchfork wielding villagers, mechanoids and battling businessmen.
No-one in their right mind would deliberately fly an airship into a storm – unless, of course, you’ve got the goddess of air travel on your side. Honestly, the plot is as daft as that – and it’s fabulous.
Anyone who loved and still remembers mad old Lionel Jeffries’ role as the eccentric grandpa in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will know what I mean. He inhabited his own crazy world and he would have loved it here. I just know he would have got on well with Captain Horatio Bonny, Merchant Airman.
And yet this is no children’s mainstream blockbuster. Oh no. Apparently it’s a Steampunk Adventure. Now I’m not going to lie to you. I had to look that up. For anyone as ignorant as me it means a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam powered machinery.
The Wake of the Dragon follows the events directly following a large air-pirate heist. While this provides an interesting back-drop for an adventure story, it feels as if it could be just any old day at the office for the people involved. There is no feeling that this is "the big one' or 'the final one' or extra important in any way and therefore worthy of note. I was a little disappointed about that. But the writing is very good (if repetitive at times), the steampunk technology interesting, and the characters relatable. I especially liked the pirates dedication to their goddess. There is also some appreciable humour and wit, especially in poor Dudley's discomfort and the captain's relations with his first officer.
While The Wake of the Dragon might not be all heart stopping action, it is very good and well worth a read. If you like steampunk in the slightest I would recommend picking it up. I'm definitely up for reading more of Hawkins' writing.
In a steam punk world reminiscent of Victorian London, a world where steam powered airships roam the sky and it would seam everyone and his mother succumb to the tempting embrace of opium and rum, a robbery sets the story for an adventure around the skies.
The thieves head off in their airship, captained by the incredible Captain Bonny, while the luckless Dudley, clerk of the dubious victim, Mr Wyatt gives chase.
The character of Captain Bonny is extremely well developed as he tempts the faits with his flirtations with Aide, goddess of the storm winds, always sailing a little too close to a storm so that he might feel a connection with her.
I thought this was a really well put together story that drew me along entertaining all the way. I look forward to exploring other books by this author.