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 10,000 years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.
©2015 Jim Butcher (P)2015 Penguin
"Butcher writes mayhem wonderfully; the action remains taut and exciting." (Huffington Post on Cold Days)
"The characters are well developed, Harry's trademark motormouth is still intact and the pop culture references keep flying. It's at times funny, thrilling, disturbing and sad - but you can never say it's dull." (The Bookbag on Ghost Story)
"Butcher's storytelling is satisfying on a level that's bone deep; from his knack for crafting suspense, to the multiple reversals of the final confrontation, to the surprisingly heart-rending dénouement." (io9.com on Ghost Story)
The story is engaging enough, the world new enough, the characters interesting enough, for a new series to get its hooks inside and make you wait for the next installment.
That said, the audiobook both excells and suffers for the same aspect. The narrator does an excellent job at creating the minor changes of voice that describe wonderfully a full cast of characters without sounding strained ; however for much of the book he seems to struggle with remembering which voice belongs to which character and thinks can get damned confusing if you're not paying very close attention. Somehow the cat even seems to suddenly become a Midwestern American on a few occasions.
In all I would recommend the story but with the caveat not to expect an epic or moving tale.
I really liked this new fantasy offering from Jim Butcher, author of the fabulous Dresden series. I didn't find his previous fantasy series (Codex Alera) easy to get into, but this book really captured my imagination. I was disappointed when I got to the end as I want to know what happens next. A fast paced fantasy with airships!
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves an action packed novel with some steampunk accents thrown in. Was a bit slow to get into in the beginning but very happy I stuck with it and kept listening.
I love Jim Butcher's other work, and hoped this would be as good. The world is finely detailed, the characters well rounded and engaging. The only thing i had am issue with was that the story tales a very long time to get going - this is clearly the start of a series. I'll definitely be checking out the next one though, as there's a lot of depth here that promises to get really interesting.
A very creative magic system with fantastically original characters. The action is top notch. But it is the characters that make this story so amazing.
It is.very well read. A lot of different voices as well as perfect changing of tone and volume make the story come alive.
I highly recommend giving this gem a try.
"Steampunk Butcher - another voice"
Loved the narrator, had just the right tone for this style of story. Clear articulation, perfect accent and dulcet on the ear. I have had to listen twice to get the world, the characters and the story straight in my minds eye. Fresh from Harry Dresden this is different all round. The world building is great and yes, the cats are spot on.
"Careful if you are a dresden fan..."
Characters I could care about.
Not my job to worry about.
He did a reasonable job.
The whole book...?
Yay - a bit of swashbuckling fun. (I seem to have listened to a few heavy tales of late, and this was a bit of light relief).
Well crafted, with top narration. Great new world. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Couldn't fault it. Jim Butcher at his best.
(and the Cat completely stole the show for me).
First of all I normally like Jim Butcher's books: in fact there is only one of his I have not managed to get through (Proven Guilty).
So why did I not like this book, it lacked a certain amount of originality a lot of the story has been done before in different books. For example the cowardly arrogant Commander plus the war (honor Harrington), the weavers ( the film tremors ). Even the attraction between two of the characters was similar to the Codex Alera books.
It was also very long winded and it took a great deal of effort to listen to it all the way through.
I would say I liked certain of the characters, especially Folly.
But I would only recommend die hard fans of Jim Butcher read/listen to it.
If you have not tried his books before start with the Dresden files and the far Superior Codex Alera Books
"Brilliant Epic Fantasy with a dollop of Sci-Fi."
I can't in good conscience claim that it is the best book I've ever read but it's refreshingly different to most 'epic fantasy' novels. A fantastical yet somehow believable world combined with some likeable characters makes for an extremely satisfying read.
I don't want to give away anything about the story or the characters although since reading it I have found a new appreciation for cats.
I particularly enjoyed the little nods to the Wheel of Time series. One could almost believe that this book is set several millennia after Robert Jordan's series finishes.
"Excellent performance, but poorly written."
The writing was very average compared to Butcher's other series, and I was not completely absorbed by the story. Suitable for a background distraction, but nothing more.
"Next one please"
This took a bit to get used to because of a different story and a different narrator than the Dresden Files I was familiar with but after the first 30 minutes I enjoyed the change of characters and context - flying ships are always good.
"Steam punk action thriller"
Plausible steampunk in a post apocalyptic world, with a bit of magic and animal characters on par with the humans for good measure. Euan Morton is an accomplished narrator, with distinctive voices and cadence for each of many characters (and species thereof!).
On a level with Butcher's Dresden Files for the thoughtful action and slow crescendo of the pacing.
An absolute masterpiece! The story teller was perfectly matched to Jim Butcher's writing, and the world Butcher has built is glorious! I can't wait for more! :-D
"just not as good as anything else butcher written"
struggled through the first ten hours but couldn't finish it. The narrator is good but the characters, magic system and everything else in the book are below par. The whole cat thing is useless with the only interesting characters being the "battleborn". the plot tries to be grandiose but the main characters don't fit in with the summary. academy students not even through their first term. a disgraced pirate captain and two people driven mad by their "magic" even by butchers standards of turning chaos into amazing battles and character development just doesn't happen. All in all seriously disappointing. much worse than any dresden books or any odlf the codex alera books.
"It ain't Harry Dresden,"
Well I didn't see that coming, once you leave your preconceptions behind, and listen (takes a chapter or two to get you hooked) its an amazing read , loved it and cant wait for next installment. I reckon Ji should doa book just about cats!!! Enjoy!!
"Very enjoyable audiobook"
I've listened to quite a few audiobooks - preferring the science fiction and fantasy genre - but this is perhaps my favourite. I love the characters and the world created.
I can't compare this to too much of Jim Butcher's other works as I've only listened to the first four of the Dresden files. I much preferred The Aeronaut's Windlass to all of those, although I'm guessing his writing has improved a lot since his early works.
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