Blog Archives

#CBR5 Maneuver #17 – Secrets of the Fire Sea

Secrets of the Fire SeaTarget: Stephen Hunt’s Secrets of the Fire Sea (Jackelian #4)

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Mystery

After Action Report:

The fourth book in Stephen Hunt’s Jackelian series is a marked improvement on the third, but doesn’t quite recapture the energy or creativity of the first.  However, the actual narrative line of Secrets of the Fire Sea is surprisingly clean and easy to follow, a vast improvement over Hunt’s pervious stories.

If you haven’t been following my various Cannonball blogs, Secrets of the Fire Sea takes place in Hunt’s steampunk/fantasy/sci-fi setting that started with The Court of the Air. And it is honestly one of the best steampunk settings out there, and continues to be wonderfully creative sometimes even surprising.  I would go so far as to say that the setting is the reason these books are worth reading, as the stories tend to be retreads of obvious tropes and are only interesting because of the set pieces that make up the world.

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#CBR4 Maneuver #4 – The Rise of the Iron Moon

Target: Stephen Hut’s The Rise of the Iron Moon (Jackelian 3)

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Alien Invasion

Summary: From the Back Cover, “Born into captivity as a product of the Royal Breeding House, friendless orphan Purity Drake suddenly finds herself on the run with a forgone vagrant after accidentally killing one of her guards.

Her strange rescuer claims he is escaping from terrible forces who mean to enslave the Kingdom of Jackals as they conquered his own nation.  Purity doubts his story, until reports begin to filter through from Jackals’ neighbors of the terrible Army of Shadows, marching across the continent and sweeping all before them.

Purity may have little love for her government, but she chooses to fight to save her homeland and people.  The thing is, she hasn’t a clue how to do so.

As Jackals girds itself for war against an army of near-unkillable beasts serving an ancient evil, it soon becomes clear that there is more to Purity than meets the eye.  The kingdom’s only hope may be a strange little royalist girl and the last, desperate plan of an escaped slave.” Read the rest of this entry

#CBR4 Maneuver #3 – The Kingdom Beyond the Waves

Target: Stephen Hut’s The Kingdom Beyond the Waves (Jackelian 2)

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Adventure

Summary: Adapted from the Back Cover, “Professor Amelia Harsh is obsessed with finding the lost civilization of Camlantis, a legendary city from prehistory that is said to have created the perfect pacifist society.  Without official funding, Amelia is forced to accept an offer of patronage from Abraham Quest, the man she blames for her father’s bankruptcy and suicide.  Quest has evidence that proves that the Camlantean ruins are buried under one of the sealike lakes that dot the murderous jungles of Liongeli.

Amelia will blackmail her old friend Commodore Black into ferrying her along a huge river on his ancient U-boat.  With an [untrustworthy] crew of freed convicts, Quest’s force of fearsome female mercenaries on board, and a lunatic steamman acting as their guide, Amelia’s luck seems to be going from bad to worse.  Her quest for the perfect society has a good chance of bringing her own world to the brink of destruction.” Read the rest of this entry

#CBR4 Maneuver #1 – The Court of the Air

Target: Stephen Hunt’s The Court of the Air

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Adventure

Summary: From the Back Cover, “When streetwise Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has just 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.

Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle.  But when he is framed for murder he flees 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.

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.”  Read the rest of this entry