A Tale of the Ketty Jay. Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, leader of a small and highly dysfunctional band of layabouts. An inveterate womaniser and rogue, he and his gang make a living on the wrong side of the law, avoiding the heavily armed flying frigates of the Coalition Navy. With their trio of ragged fighter craft, they run contraband, rob airships, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. So a hot tip on a cargo freighter loaded with valuables seems like a great prospect for an easy heist and a fast buck. Until the heist goes wrong, and the freighter explodes.
Suddenly Frey isn't just a nuisance anymore - he's public enemy number one, with the Coalition Navy on his tail and contractors hired to take him down. But Frey knows something they don't. That freighter was rigged to blow, and Frey has been framed to take the fall. If he wants to prove it, he's going to have to catch the real culprit. He must face liars and lovers, dogfights and gunfights, Dukes and daemons. It's going to take all his criminal talents to prove he's not the criminal they think he is.
Rupert Degas has narrated over 100 audiobooks. He has recorded a diverse range of authors, from Andy McNab, James Patterson, Wilbur Smith, and Chris Ryan to children's authors such as Derek Landy, Darren Shan, Jamie Rix, and Philip Pullman. He has narrated books by Patrick Rothfuss, Haruki Murakami, Mervyn Peake, Rose Tremain, and Cormac McCarthy as well as recording classics from Kafka, Conan Doyle, Lovecraft, and Wilde. Rupert has lent his voice to numerous cartoons, including Mr Bean, Robotboy, Gumball, Thomas & Friends, and Bob the Builder and has performed in over 50 radio productions for BBC Radio 4, including The Brightonomicon and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He spent 18 months in the West End performing in Stones in his Pockets and was in the original London cast of the smash-hit comedy The 39 Steps. Produced by Peter Rinne
©2009 Chris Wooding (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group
I stumbled on this after a conversation with very literate English Lit teacher who appreciates Josh Whedon a little more than life itself. He mentioned the 'Firefly" similarity and that almost put me off. I LOVE Firefly and I'm not into imitations. They so often tend towards flattery and lose all sense of story.
Then I started to read and tumbled head-over-heels into a world that made me laugh, gasp and cheer. This is the real Steam-punk, heartless-romantic, full-throttle fun I've been looking for. And Mr Wooding can write both characters and dialogue.
If you like an anti-hero with a heart of gilt, then Captain Frey is your man. Irresistible to women, relationally caustic, self-interested to a fault, he leads the most unlikely of cobbled together crews on a journey into grudgingly heroic community.
Thank the Allsoul that there are more books in the series. C'mon audible - record them!
And as for Rupert Degas.....what is there to say other than "BRILLIANT"!
After more than 150 audio books, I've got to say that Rupert Degas is the best narrator I've heard. He's a legend, with a breadth of voices unmatched, and the ability to bring a story alive. It was his narration alone that lead me to download this story.
That being said, I'm really glad I did. Chris Wooding has written a story that is great fun with lots of action. Set in a steam punk world, and following the antics of an airship crew, there is never a dull moment!
I hope they make more in this series, as I'd certainly listen to them. Reading Chris's blog, he doesn't know if that's going to happen. Fingers crossed!
"A Great Start!"
A very entertaining listen! Great narration, an interesting world, and a charming cast of characters. Very well balanced, nice mix of action and character moments, very digestible worldbuilding. Really solid start to the series. I hope audible gets the next book, but this book does stand on it's own as well.
"Amazing book and great narrator voice"
This is one of my favourite books of all time. The crew is fantastically well developed and the story is engaging.
I was stoked to see this book on audible, as I've been wanting to reread it, but barely have timeto read in the evenings.
Other than that, i really love the narrators impression of the characters, i'm literally grinning while im listening because it's so fun.
I would really recommend this book to anyone who likes pirates, swashbuckling, sci fi and engaging stories, and especially to people who love character and relationship dynamics.
I'm also holding out for the rest of the Letty Jay chronicles to be narrated, because this entire series is completely awe inspiring.
"High mark for Audiobook...maybe ever."
Rupert is outstanding. He manages to find nuance, humor, emotions and plot with ease and incorporates different voices into each so that everything is whole.
The writing is fun, not meant to be anything but entertaining.
"Excellent narrator, fun/exciting story"
Perfect story for a roadtrip: exciting, well paced, and fun. It almost made me want to get back in the car and keep driving. The motley cast of characters, each running from their own past, keeps things entertaining. While the crew is sucked into political intrigue, the plot is relatively straight forward (ideal for driving).
The narrator's voice acting is fantastic: each character came to life with their own voice, accent, and speech patterns. It brought me right into the story.
"1 Part steam punk 1 part Firefly 1 part pulp"
This was an enjoyable book, in the same vein as pulp paperbacks. If your looking for a modern classic, you're in the wrong place. This is one you digest while waiting for the bus, not while sipping cognac in the study.
You can tell the author was heavily influenced by steam punk themes and the Firefly TV series, and considering this is a fun laid back sort of book, I count these as good things. The writing isn't great, but the voice actor Rupert Degas SELLS IT. For being a short book, there are many voices, so there are a few (especially female voices) that start to get recycled, but it didn't really draw me out of the world Wooding paints.
I hesitate to call this totally original, but I would describe it as a fun read, especially if you're into fantasy, scifi, steam punk, Firefly, mixed mythos, dogfights(the air plane kind, not the canine kind), fist fights, gun fights, ex girlfriend fights, mild intrigue and/or roguish characters. The main character has a Han Solo/Malcolm Reynolds/down on his luck Sam Spade Feel to him that I kinda dig. It's nice to see instead of a character used to winning lose, instead see a character used to losing perpetuate his downward spiral.
This does pass the Bechdel test, but barely.
A good story, entertaining and well thought out. The crew is well developed and fun to watch grow and take shape.
"Basically a steampunk Firefly :)"
I LOVED this book. I don't care if it is a massive rip-off of Firefly. Great, compelling story and fantastic characters. I am slightly obsessed with Frey now.
Hey Audible - I WANT THE REST OF THE SERIES!
A good reader makes makes or marrs a book and I've found that I would rather listen to a bad book with a great narrator than a good book with a poor one. Rupert Degas is one of my favourites. He has a lovely smooth voice is great at characterisation. You should check out his readings of Patrick Rothfuss.
"Great Ensemble of Characters & Cracking Good Yarn"
Very Highly - Top 20.
This incorporates loads of my fave things in an audiobook.
It has a cast of interesting characters, including the ones who make only fleeting appearances. It has a richly described world with an interesting background. It's a gripping story that whips along, with thrills, spills and plenty of wry humour.
It's got spaceships, explosions and plenty of the weird and wonderful.
And finally, it's performed by one of my favourite readers, Rupert Degas. As one of the previous reviewers says, a good performance makes or breaks an audiobook, no matter how good the book is, and Degas always does a fantastic job.
Great book, which I really recommend! I just wish they'd release the rest of the 'Ketty Jay' series on audiobook (there are 3 more!) all read by Degas. Petition Chris Wooding's publishers now! Please!
WHEN is the next one in the trilogy coming out!
Great listen. As always Rupert Degas makes a superb job of narrating. The story is good and bodes well for the other books. BUT the transitions between occurrences and characters is unfortunately to sketchy sometimes and I found myself thinking that I must have missed something and I had to listen again - not my favourite thing - and I hadn't!
I gave it four stars. The fourth is due to the excellent narration of R Degas. AND I will get the next book - absolutely.
"Not quite the steampunk firefly some claim"
I'd recommend this. The world building is a bit sketchy in places but there's enough pace and new ideas to keep you listening. You do start to care about the characters. It's a shame that the motley crew and reluctant captain idea that has drawn Firefly comparisons. I'm a huge fan of Firefly but it could cloud your expectations a little.
Degas's performance takes the route of different accents for characters - the dialogue is performed as much as read. That's often a problem - especially when the narrators range of voices isn't that great. But Degas can hold his own and you really get a sense of the characters through his delivery.
One thing I would say that does bring Firefly to mind, is for the publishers not to leave us in the lurch by only producing an audio version of this one book. There are two more in the series and I'd buy them tomorrow.
"Degas delights - again!"
The narration - big Degas fan but the story trundled along well
It's a bit like the movie series Firefly - quirky with a slight feel of a western - with a little magic and sourcery thrown in
Too hard to choose - Degas renders such believable characters you look forward to hearing more from all of them - his female characters are a particular delight I always forget its actually a chap narrating!
Yes - absolutely gutted I can't find the rest of the series on audio book!
Please please please release the rest if the series in audio format - with Rupert Degas narrating of course!
"Simply Out Of This World"
To be clear I'm not at all a fan of science fiction and have normally limited myself to the brilliance of Scott Lynch and his Gentleman Bastard series.
For some reason I decided to try something different and went with Retribution Falls and it was one of the best audiobook decisions I have ever made! Right from the start it was different enough to grab my attention without going overboard on the fantasy front.
I thought it would be hard to find a narrator I enjoy as much as Tim Piggott-Smith but Rupert Degas was simply faultless! Great use of his voice and accents which made every character unique
If anyone is looking for a gripping read with a story line that holds your interest level high throughout the whole story then this is an absolute must! Please, Please, Please can we have the rest of the series but only if they are read by Mr. Degas!
"Fun but not the best"
I liked the way it's written, very catching reading.
The steampunk athmosphere.
What he does in all books- the accents, the tones, just everything. He's my absolute favorite reader.
This is a good book about a bunch of pirates who get in trouble and then more trouble due to a setup. The story is not original but very well written, the characters are not very deep but one gets a good insight anyway, and here there are no "good" or "bad" characters... all have very big flaws. Good fantasy parts in it too. I recommend this, don't be put off by the description!
I really liked this book. The story kept at a good pace. Was creative and imaginative. Would really like for there to be a sequel. The characters are great, all with their own personality and not too many of them to get lost with who's who. Superb narration from a master of speech.
I have been waiting for this series to come out on audio for some time now so I was delighted when the first book appeared. It was well worth the wait. Well written, great narration and of course a wonderful cast of characters making up the Ketty's crew. The plot careens along at a canter with various POVs but this doesn't water down the overall story. A super combination of author and narrator, can't wait for books 2 & 3.
"It grew on me"
A good yarn. I found the plot line and the characters novel. It was engaging and very easy to listen to with excellent narration. A bit YA perhaps and it moved through the plot disappointingly quickly at the end. The central character is a flawed, accidental hero who comes good remarkably quickly and has amazing powers of survival. So best to just suspend your belief and go with it. I will probably get the sequel as or when it becomes available.
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