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.