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Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

Retribution Falls (2009)

by Chris Wooding

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tales of the Ketty Jay (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5854616,858 (3.83)86
  1. 40
    Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon (Jannes)
    Jannes: Retribution falls is, for better or worse, essentially Firefly/Serenity in steampunk drag.
  2. 30
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (majkia)
    majkia: outsiders, thieves, heists, pirates
  3. 00
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Alliebadger)
  4. 00
    Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (Jannes)
    Jannes: Airships and high adventure in a post-apocalyptic and retrofuturistic word. Also: air pirates.

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» See also 86 mentions

English (44)  French (2)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
First, if you want to read a story of noble heroes then this is not a story for you. This book doesn't have heroes. What it does have is a great and fast story, more than interesting characters and their slow and beautifully done development, so by the time I finished reading, I loved them.

We are introduced to the crew of the Ketty Jey through Jez, a petite and great navigator who is new to the crew. Malvery is introducing them and hers are the first impressions we have of them. Malvery is a huge man with a contagious laugh. Nothing seems to disturb him. Pinn and Harken are outflyers whose job is to protect the Ketty Jay. Pinn is one of the ugliest people in the book and he is really stupid. Harken is only normal when he is alone and flying, or when he isn't expected to talk or argue. These two are complete opposite. Pinn doesn't seem to grasp the concept of death or danger at all and Harken sees the danger even in the most ordinary things. Silo is an engineer on the Ketty Jay and he doesn't talk much. The last two people Jez meets are Darian Frey and Crake. Crake is an educated man and a daemonist who is hiding from the law. Darian Frey is their captain. Soon after the introductions, she gets to see Bess, Crake's golem, in action and later their weird cat. There is no loyalty or friendship among them and they seem thrown in together by accident. Malvery's description in the beginning is the best way to see what you get with this crew. ‘Look at us! We’re not smugglers or pirates. We’re not a crew! The Cap’n’s only the cap’n ’cause he owns the aircraft; I wouldn’t trust him to lead a bear to honey. None of us here signed on for adventure or riches, ’cause sure as spit there’s little enough of either.’ He gave Crake a conspiratorial wink. ‘But mark me, ain’t one of us that’s not running from something, you included. I’ll bet my last swig of rum on that.’ The Ketty Jey has been set up and almost everyone is after them, so in order to save themselves they have to find out who set them up and why. It works for well organized crews, but this group is anything but. It is a fast-paced adventure and action story with more than one point of view (the writing is great and the characters' voices are distinct).
I loved the character development. It is masterfully done. Darian Frey from the beginning of this book is a completely different person from the one in the end. That goes for most of the other characters too. From "ragged collection of vagrants" they become "a miniature society, the denizens of the Ketty Jay, and they needed one another to survive."
There are tons of books where either characters or the plot are what makes the story good. Retribution Falls has them both. What I loved is the way Wooding didn't reveal the characters' stories all at once. He keeps us waiting and wondering by revealing what happened to them in the past bit by bit (Jaz's story is the most intriguing).
( )
  Irena. | Nov 3, 2015 |
Really enjoyable romp. A touch of Firefly, a hint of Dune, some occult elements, and a decent chunk of shiver me timbers piracy. The story takes place on an unnamed and generally lawless planet of wildly varying environments where airships are the favoured means of travel, and the favoured targets of a variety of pirates, smugglers and assorted underworld figures. Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay and its motley crew of misfits, who are given a seemingly juicy target to plunder, but find it is a set-up and need to quickly hunt down whoever framed them before they are hanged for murder. Nothing startlingly original, but the story works well and is deftly handled. The pace is unrelenting, the characters believable and the denouement satisfying. Its not going to strain the intellectual faculties, but well worth a look. ( )
  drmaf | Oct 6, 2015 |
In some ways reminiscent of the space cowboys of "Firefly", these steampunk adventures of Frey and his rag tag crew on the Ketty Jay have something for everyone. Action, adventure, humor, heart - it is all here.
I came upon this book in a roundabout way - a friend of my daughter who has worked with us both recommended it to Becky. As usual, Bex had a 'to be read' list as long as the dead sea scrolls, so Kirsty suggested I read it first. Probably more my sort of book than Becky's to be honest, since she tends to shy away from anything even remotely sci-fi.
I wasn't sure when I took it, but soon got hooked. The fact I have now requested the two sequels speaks for itself! ( )
  Helen_Earl | Aug 6, 2015 |
This is basically steampunk Firefly. One complaint: the women in this novel are either hookers, psycho ex-girlfriends, or a supernatural zombie. I almost deducted another star for that. Otherwise, very much a romp by a bunch of antiheroes through space. ( )
  bug_girl | Jun 4, 2015 |
Read like the Steampunk equivalent of a Dungeons and Dragons novel. I might have been impressed with this as a young teenager, but as an adult read, found it was just too ham-fisted. For those wanting a more mature and satisfying Steampunk experience, I recommend [b:The Half-Made World|8198773|The Half-Made World|Felix Gilman|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1312035395s/8198773.jpg|13045676] ( )
  StaticBlaq | Apr 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Woodingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The smuggler held the bullet between thumb and forefinger, studying it in the weak light of the store room.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345522516, Paperback)

Sky piracy is a bit out of Darian Frey’s league. Fate has not been kind to the captain of the airship Ketty Jay—or his motley crew. They are all running from something. Crake is a daemonist in hiding, traveling with an armored golem and burdened by guilt. Jez is the new navigator, desperate to keep her secret from the rest of the crew. Malvery is a disgraced doctor, drinking himself to death. So when an opportunity arises to steal a chest of gems from a vulnerable airship, Frey can’t pass it up. It’s an easy take—and the payoff will finally make him a rich man.

But when the attack goes horribly wrong, Frey suddenly finds himself the most wanted man in Vardia, trailed by bounty hunters, the elite Century Knights, and the dread queen of the skies, Trinica Dracken. Frey realizes that they’ve been set up to take a fall but doesn’t know the endgame. And the ultimate answer for captain and crew may lie in the legendary hidden pirate town of Retribution Falls. That’s if they can get there without getting blown out of the sky.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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 ...… (more)

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