11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Stephen Hunt does War of the Worlds!,
This review is from: The Rise of the Iron Moon (Hardcover)
The action in this third volume of Hunt's Jackelian sequence takes place on an epic scale, with the world of Jackals menaced by something nasty from Out There. Even the meddling Court of the Air can't help (indeed, I wonder if, after this, we will hear any more of the Court?)
For those who haven't read the previous volumes, The Court of the Air and The Kingdom Beyond the Waves it might be best to do so before reading this, as there is a lot of backstory. But you will want to move onto this one quickly! In summary: The Kingdom of Jackals exists on a far future Earth - or so it appears - and is at loggerheads with its deadly rival, revolutionary Quatreshift (think late 18th century- early 19th century Britain and France). Defended by its trusty fleet of airships, Jackals expects to win the day. But dark forces are at work. The technology is steam driven, the politics are very pre Reform Act "Roast Beef of Old England", the invaders are Wellesian.
In this installment, we find out much more about Jackals' past, and meet again the main characters from "The Court of the Air" many of whom were elsewhere in "Kingdom Beyond the Waves". As always, the story is frenetic and filled with ideas, an excellent read. My only reservation - and it is a small one - is that the sheer amount of "placement" necessary to get everyone arranged in this story, and the scale involved, rather dulls the narrative. Whole nations (and the Court of the Air) are ravaged by the invader before the main narrative really begins. Epic journeys take place between chapters. Molly and Jared rub shoulders with governments and join in an immense scientific project to save Jackals. It all gets rather breathless. That's the first third of the book.
Then it slows down, and a more familiar, and compelling, Huntian narrative commences - including derring do, treachery, last minute escapes, mind boggling technology and (not, I hope, too much of a spoiler) ultimate triumph.
Stop press: Secrets of the Fire Sea has been announced for next February.