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The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
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The Court of the Air

by Stephen Hunt

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1,108567,473 (3.1)1 / 81
Recently added byRachelLeah, RobertPop, Mrs_McGreevy, jimpike69, suspended, private library, Aneris, DeborahJ2016
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    The Difference Engine by William Gibson (rakerman)
    rakerman: Babbage's Difference Engines reimagined as the steam-powered transaction engines of The Court of the Air
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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I liked much of this book, but there were definitely a few detractions.

1.) Steam-punk to the face: magic, machines, outlaws, "Carlist" Marxists, faiery/"fey" powers, other dimensions, Chtuluian old gods, orphans **huge inhale**, pirates, mutants, and ice age, underground cities... It does all sort of hang together, but it is like a fire-hose of tropes to the face.

2.) Characters do seem thin. Partially this is because of #1: one of the main characters is an orphan girl... who seems a lot like a generic, spunky orphan heroine. And partially this is because there isn't a lot of time left, even in nearly 600 pages, to flesh out all 20-ish main and important supporting characters.

On the plus side, the world was interesting, perhaps too much so, even: parallel worlds/higher levels/etc.; deep history; outlines of a much larger and politically stable, if not necessarily peaceful, world; and plenty of loose ends to lead to further books (a number of which I see have already been written.)

And, in disagreement with what some have written here, I though the book moved along quite quickly. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
I thought this was a great book. I liked all the action and the drama. I think the author took a couple of interesting ideas and wove them together pretty well.

There were a few places where I thought it could have been better. At points there were just too many characters doing different things, and the different plots didn't always flow together that well.

That said, I still had a great time while reading it and will definitely read it again. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
I tried. I really, really tried. But 251 pages into a 500 page book and I still wasn't enjoying it or finding anything with which I could connect, and I placed it in one of those book-sharing boxes near a coffee shop. I realize Stephen Hunt's forte is in world building and he does a magnificent job. But I like characters who do something in a plot, and after the first 50 pages there ceased to be that aspect of this world. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
I loved this book! Great steam punk fantasy with a plethora of fascinating characters. Molly and Oliver are slightly unconvincing towards the end however overall I enjoyed the Jackelian world and its peoples enough to make me want to read another. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
I REALLY wanted to love this book. Written by the creator of the comprehensive sf website SFcrowsnest.com, it had so much going for it: steampunk, heros, battles for kingdoms… Alas, it failed me.
Without going into the plot line and revealing spoilers, I never ended up caring about any of the characters. At 600 pages, it was about 200 pages too long, most of it battle scenes. Don’t get me wrong, the scenes were well-written, but there were just too many of them. On with the plot, I say!! Unfortunately, this first book of a series did not entice me to venture further into the second book. ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
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Thanks where thanks are due. You know who you are.
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Molly Templar sat dejected by the loading platform of the Handsome Lane laundry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765360225, Mass Market Paperback)

When streetwise Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has recently been apprenticed to, her first instinct is to run back to the poorhouse where she grew up. But there she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it slowly dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack. For Molly is a special little girl, and she carries a secret that marks her out for destruction by enemies of the state.

Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. But when he is framed for his only relative's murder he is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of thieves, outlaws and spies, and gradually learns more about the secret that has blighted his life.

Soon Molly and Oliver will find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago. Their enemies are ruthless and myriad, but the two orphans are also aided by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue, and adventure.

The Court of the Air is a rollicking adventure set in a fantastical Dickensian clockwork universe that will appeal to fans of Susanna Clarke and Philip Pullman.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:28 -0400)

Streetwise Molly witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel where she has recently been apprenticed and runs back to the poorhouse where she grew up. There she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack. For Molly is a special little girl who carries a secret that marks her for destruction by enemies of the state. Oliver has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. When he is framed for his only relative's murder he is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of low-life rogues, but learns more about the secret that has blighted his life. Soon Molly and Oliver will find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago.… (more)

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