“The Court of the Air” by Stephen Hunt (Tor, 2009)

The Court of the Airstarstarstar

Stephen Hunt’s debut novel, The Court of the Air, is a fun romp through the steampunk world as he successfully combines a Victorian, Dickensian feel with interesting machinery and a strange and unusual world.  It is the story of two orphans – you can’t get more Dickensian than that! – who are on the run from various deadly and clandestine groups.  There is Molly, who is being chased by assassins of a mysterious group; she fortunately finds some friends along the way and is able to go underground, into the sewers and caverns below, discovering another world.  Then there is Oliver, who has been framed for his uncle’s death, and must flee for his life.  He takes to the air, escaping the fey-hunting Special Guard, in a great air ship.  They both draw the attention of the Court of the Air, an unknown and secret organization that spells dread for all.

While this first book in the series is somewhat overloaded with gimmicks and gadgets and characters and things going on that can often lose the reader who must stay focused to follow the story, Hunt has nevertheless created a unique and entertaining steampunk story that continues in The Kingdom Beyond the Waves.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on December 21st, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

11/5 On the Bookshelf . . .

Covers will always be an important selling point of books.  In most cases I’ll read the summary or inside flap of a book to determine whether it’s something I’d be interested in reading, and then turn to the cover as an appetizing dessert to a story that sounds intriguing.  For the last few months I’ve been distracted by the first two books by Stephen Hunt, with their simple but interesting style borrowing from Jules Verne and employing a steampunk theme.  After seeing the covers appearing a few times on Facebook for some science fiction groups, I discovered that the author was also on Facebook and after friending and chatting with Hunt, really wanted to give his books a try.  And today the first two books arrived, which I’m really looking forward to.  And those great covers look just like this (US edition that is):

Court of the Air Kingdom Beyond the Waves