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Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
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Retribution Falls (2009)

by Chris Wooding

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tales of the Ketty Jay (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7035419,362 (3.74)100
  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
    Driftmetal by J.C. Staudt (lkernagh)
  4. 00
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Alliebadger)
  5. 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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English (53)  French (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
3.5 stars.

It might be strictly my fault, but I feel kind of cheated: For some reason, I was expecting an uproarious account that would leave me gasping for breath, but all this story actually added up to were a few nice chuckles. Maybe I missed something.

Despite the disappointment in that regard, this was a pretty decent fantasy book. Although the story was rather generic, it was the ensemble of a cast that I found quite engaging, each one with their own bizarre backstory. Overall, a nice beginning to a series, though I do hope it will get better with the following installments. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
This is the first book in the Ketty Jay series by Wooding. Way back, I was a huge Chris Wooding fan and I have read almost everything else he’s written. However, this book was just not for me. I have started reading this book a few times and couldn’t get past the first chapter. I decided this time to try and power through. I ended up making it about 80 pages in and just gave up. It’s not that this is a bad book; it just had a lot of things in it I didn’t like and the writing didn’t flow very well so I struggled to read it.

I kind of knew right away I was going to struggle with this one. It starts out with smugglers and gunfights; a very western feel to it. Then they escape on an airship and what follows is a series of the smugglers trying to pick up jobs and having near misses that involve plane fights, airship battles, and escapes.

I have never been a fan of books that are very “ship” based. I know this is a bit weird, but books that take place on airships or normal water dwelling ships have never been my thing. I am also not a huge fan of the constant run and chase interrupted by gunfights scenario. There just wasn’t enough story here.

The world presented is interesting. There were a ton of characters introduced right away, which was a bit tough to keep track of. I think they have potential to become interesting characters given more page space; but at the point I stopped reading they were more characterizations than actual characters.

The writing quality was okay; it doesn’t flow all that well but is readable.

Overall this book just wasn’t my thing. If you are into western adventure stories with steampunk elements you might enjoy this. The story consists of many chases, airship battles, gunfights, and betrayals. ( )
  krau0098 | Apr 11, 2018 |
I was hoping for a bit of Serenity-type fanfic but was sadly disappointed. It started off a bit blokey and obvious, which I could have ignored if it had not then dropped a big dollop of sexism in at chapter three. I didn't bother to go any further. ( )
  SChant | Mar 11, 2018 |
Loved, loved, loved this series!!! The main characters are not good guys, nor are they bad guys, they're just people living in the gray areas of life and trying to do the best they can. Anyone who loves sci-fi with a bit of steampunk and everyone who loved Firefly will devour these books!! ( )
  J_Colson | Nov 30, 2017 |
This was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award and was seen as an odd choice at the time. Having now read it, I’m even more mystified. It’s a steampunkish sf adventure story with 1970s sexual politics. And while one word in the preceding sentence qualifies it for the Clarke Award, the rest should have immediately disqualified it from the shortlist. The title refers to a semi-mythical town populated by pirates. Darian Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, a Millennium Falcon sort of equivalent in a world where there are powered aircraft who use an invented gas, aerium, to improve their lift. So they’re sort of a cross between zeppelins and aeroplanes, but are treated like steampunk spaceships. And it’s totally unconvincing. Then you have the crew, who are the usual bunch of RPG-session misfits (or Firefly-inspired character writing, which I guess is the same thing), who get inadvertently embroiled in a plot which reaches all the way up to the highest levels of society… Yawn. The book was, according to the author, written to be fun, which is fine in and of itself. But when the only two named female characters are a) undead and b) a ruthless pirate captain who turns out to be the jilted lover of the hero… Oh, and let’s not forget his current girlfriend, who’s been sent to a convent by her upper class father… All the other female characters are whores or nuns. Well, this is not a book that should have been published in the twenty-first century, never mind shortlisted for a major genre award. Seriously, what the fuck were they thinking? It’s not even like the plot is hugely original, as the way it unfolds is pretty much obvious from page one. Retribution Falls reads like a write-up of a dudebro session of a derivative RPG game. The genre is better than that, the Clarke is way better than that. Avoid. ( )
1 vote iansales | Sep 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Woodingprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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