Top critical review
OK premise but the basic economics of the underlying universe needs much more work
on 23 September 2014
There is an old tag that in most forms of fiction you can include one impossible premise and providing you stick to it the story will work. I am afraid that in this the author has to a great extent failed which although I didn't totally dislike the story is why I have marked him down. As others indicate the basic premise of the story is fairly fast paced and has a fair number of thrills and spills and some of the characterisations and interplay of the crew and others are well thought out which I would normally give it a four rating but unfortunately as I read the first story, in what is now at least a trilogy, I kept wondering about the basic economics underpinning the universe that was being depicted.
OK we have a 'steam punk' universe and as such I can accept the mix of modern and Victorian era technology of the flying ships and the sky docks they travel between even if their motive power appears to be animate which somehow negates the weight of things surrounding. But apparently none of the vessels appearing in this first tale can get close to ground level without their weight returning to normal and the ship crashing to the ground. This is where the economics questions kick in loudly and clearly:
1. Where does all the steel, electronics, plastics and sundry other material including most importantly food come from?
2. What does Ruby Celeste buy, sell or otherwise do to make a living for her 18 strong crew?
3. Why do even relatively small flying ships carry enough heavy ordinance to take out two flying sky docks but the docks themselves with hundreds if not thousands of people on board seem incapable of defending themselves?
4. Who carries the insurance allowing new ships to be bought?
5. Who builds the new ships? (see 1 above)
Since I bought the Kindle version with all three current books bound together I may well attempt to read the other bocks but it will be more on the basis of seeing if the author answers those queries than to see where the story goes.
If you can ignore these questions then as others have indicated you may well enjoy this tale but if not I would strongly advise you to avoid it instead.