The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
Series: The Cinder Spires #1
Published by Roc
Published on: September 29, 2015
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Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…
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 ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…
I finally caved, and started listening to Jim Butcher’s THE DRESDEN FILES in audio this year, so while I’m still busy playing catch-up on that series, I was excited to be able to get in on the ground floor of THE CINDER SPIRES. The humour was not along the same lines as what I’ve come to equate with this author, but the world-building and characters were, and two out of three ain’t bad! And, in all fairness, Rowl probably made this novel 3/3 for cat people, I just can’t in good conscience admit to that for fear of retaliation from my fur babies.
Book 1 has to be THE trickiest installment to write in my opinion because they have the huge task of making an awesome first impression while also developing the protagonists / secondaries / world enough that readers want more without reaching the critical information overload point of no return. Butcher cheated a bit by buying himself extra fleshing out time with his 640 pages, but overall he used the added length to his advantage with epic airship shoot outs, Steampunk-ish gadgets / beasties, and kickass story telling.
I enjoyed the alternating POVs; the separations were distinct, the locations were identified at the start of each chapter, and once I got to know the characters, it was easy to pick out which one was MC’ing just by their dialogues, and narrative styles. I bring this up because this may very well end up being one of the bigger critique points of this series; this particular style can be difficult to follow if you spread out your reading sessions, so essentially what I’m getting at is that this is not a “lunch break” kind of novel!
I’m assuming that Grimm is going to be the main honcho of THE CINDER SPIRES, although I’m not ruling Gwendolyn, Benedict, Bridget, Rowl, Ferus, or Folly out yet either because several of them had a comparable presence. I can also grudgingly acknowledge that the prince of the Silent Paws was right on point; the author combined a cat’s indifference, God complex and snobbery into a cute package with attitude, and by the end I was THIS close to buying him his favourite dumplings.
Longer than your average book; however THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS was time well spent.
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I have this on hold at the library. I figure I will try it that way first though it does sound like another winner from him.
Felicia GeekyBlogger ( recently posted…#LoveMyLibraryCard: Final Week, Banned Books + Giveaway!
I’m nowhere near being caught up in The Dresden Files series but I’m on hold for this audiobook at the library, too. Maybe I’ll stay current with this one. Thanks for a great review!
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Exposing the Heiress by Jennifer Apodaca
He just looks so cool!
blodeuedd recently posted…Dark Secrets Anthology
Oh I enjoyed this one as well! LOVED Rowl! So funny and cute! My only niggle was when he had to explain what he was doing at length during a fight. Other than that, I really had fun with this book. Can’t wait for the next one.
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
I have this one to review and while excited I did not know it was so long..ugh. I really need to check page amount before jumping in on some books…lol. Oh well, I am excited to try something else by Butcher since I love Dresden…thanks for the warning that it’s not as funny as his other series. 🙂
Stormi recently posted…Book Review: Archangelâs Enigma by Nalini Singh
I never picked the Dresden Files up after the gap. Somehow I just couldn’t do it. but this looks fascinating, and i was so disappointed when I was turned down for the ARC.
Erin Burns recently posted…Review – Harvest Moon (and the rest of the series so far) by Lisa Kessler
Gah I have to get to this one soon. Curious to see how I will like it, I love Butcher’s Dresden Files but couldn’t get into his epic fantasy series Codex Alera. From what I hear I suspect I will enjoy this one as much as you did though 🙂
Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Last First Snow by Max Gladstone
Despite the length of the book, it sounds like a great read that kept you hooked. I love a book with action, and it sounds like there was plenty in this one!
Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace
Naomi Hop recently posted…Slashed by Tracy Wolff ~ Review & Teaser Tuesday
You got me at cat… 🙂
BookaholicCat recently posted…Hot Off the Press: September 29th Releases
I haven’t caved yet to reading Butcher but I must say I’m intrigued with The Aeronaut’s Windlass. And maybe I should begin here – before I have preconceived notions of what I should get from a Butcher novel. It sounds like the world building is well done, as is the character development. And hey, he made you care for a cat. 😉
Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ Take ~ Ella Frank #COYER