RSS Feed

Sub by Email

Twitter Me


Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

REVIEW | Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)

Retribution Falls is one of those books I kept hearing unbelievably good things about to the point I thought it couldn't live up to the hype. Well, hype is probably not right.  More like unabashed praise from most quarters, which is why I went to the trouble of getting the book from the UK. But than I let the book languish in my to-read pile for months because I wanted to separate myself from what was said so my dreams wouldn't be too dashed as often happens when you build something up.

Retribution Falls has been called everything from a Steampunk Firefly to Jack Sparrow in a sky ship, both of which just ooze thoughts of wild adventure. I can now say unequivocally that Retribution Falls deserves every good word said and many more. Retribution Falls starts on a compelling high note and never lets up. It'll have you holding your breath in anticipation dozens of times. Retribution Falls has already been recently named for the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist of just 6 titles.

Retribution Falls is a hard book to classify. It has classic elements of Fantasy, but with Sci-Fi tech akin to Steampunk yet I hesitate to put it in that camp as it is much more advanced. Retribution Falls is much more than a Firefly riff as it is like an entire season without one lull compressed into less than 375 pages of complete and utter bliss. I do wonder if it would exist without the influence of Joss Whedon, but either way Wooding does an incredible job of creating a group of the most compelling characters I've found in sometime and he makes you care about nearly each and everyone of them right down to the sleep asphyxiating cat.

Darian Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, who is quite the sordid ne'er-do-well to the nth degree. Frey's only cares are that he own the Ketty Jay and that no other may posses or even pilot her. His crew has been a revolving door for years, where few of stayed or lived long enough to decide if they want to stay. The ship's doctor is a drunk. The mechanic a virtual mute. The Ketty Jay also has two out-fliers, which are smaller aircraft that provide support, reconnaissance, and much needed gun power on their run, but they are piloted by a very loathsome young man and another who is so war-beaten he can't part with his ship. There is also a mysterious passenger with access to some very unusual science/magic, especially with his dutiful metal monstrosity at his beck and call. And not to forget their brand spanking new female pilot with a puzzling pass and a secret that could mean her ostracization at any moment. Each and every character is larger than life and grow on you more and more. The character's back stories were released a perfect points and really nailed where the character came from and the motivation or lack thereof for their current situation.

From the dialogue with supremely funny re-joiners to the a world  that is so well realized, Retribution Falls is a can't miss novel. It is touching in all the right places and a non-stop adventure from start to finish. I feel like I'm gushing a bit on this, but it is without a doubt one of my favorite books this year. I only wish I got to it sooner, but than the wait for book two would be even longer. But not to worry, there is a clear resolution for the story and most of the crew of the Ketty Jay except for one character who will probably need a whole book in and of itself to properly address. The whole plot is intricately and smartly laid out that all quarters are covered.

The fast and furious Retribution Falls is a staggeringly and ridiculously good page turner. The quality of the writing is close to that of Scott Lynch and has left room for so many more immersive stories for the crew of the Ketty Jay. I give Retribution Falls 9.5 out of 10 hats. This is the first time I can remember pre-ordering the second book in a series before even finishing the first. It is that good. The sequel The Black Lung Captain will be released this July in the UK and it can't get here soon enough for me. Wooding has already signed on for two more volumes of the Ketty Jay for release a year apart with the third currently titled The Iron Jackal. The first two books will be published in the US by Spectra in 2011 in October for the first and the second in November. Wooding also has a series of prequel type vignettes in the guise of Frey's Logbook, which certainly gives a nice entry into this world on the mind of its captain.

You Might Also Like:
So Much Steampunk, So Little Time
REVIEW | Midwinter by Matthew Struges
REVIEW | Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
REVIEW | Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
NEWS | Cover & Update on Firefly Anthology


Bryce L. said...

Thanks for the review. I've been debating over ordering this sooner rather than later. It's definitely gonna be sooner.

Unknown said...

I've just started reading this myself. I'm only about 40 pages in but I'm pretty heavily engaged with it so far.

It reminds a bit of the "Firefly-Serenity" series. But that's ok, it's not meant as a slight in any way.

I plan on reading the rest of the Clarke Award nominees in sequence after this as I haven't read any of them to date.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.