The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher

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Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

I read the Advanced Reader’s Copy that I picked up from Book Con. The final edition was released September 29, 2015.

My plan was to finish the ARC before that date, but things happened.
This novel also took me more time to read than I would have liked (October 18 to December 04, 2015), but ugh… responsibilities taking away my free time. It was also killing my back to commute with such a large book (630 pages) so after a while I left it home to read a single chapter before bed about twice a week.

Moving onward. I enjoyed the story. There is a lot of action both on the ground and in the sky. There is also world building, although, I did have some difficulty understanding what the setting looked like. Specifically the construction and layout of the spires. However, it’s a good start and I would like to know more history of their world and the backstories of the characters.

I was very happy that the story was told from several of the characters’ perspectives. I liked their interactions as well as the development of the old and new relationships. I’m going to pick my two favorite characters: the well mannered Captain Grimm and the sassy Cat, Rowl. (The Cats’ behaviors and attitudes were so on point.) I loved Rowl’s name for Bridget, “Little Mouse” because that was my sister’s childhood nickname.

The enemy exhibited ruthless behavior but I wish we had more insight into their motives. I suppose that is something to discover as the series goes on.

I don’t think I will be running out to get the next book, but I would like to read it at some point, either from the library or an ARC.

3.5 out 5 Airships.

 

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