The Black Lung Captain, Chris Wooding, Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0-345-52250-4, 536 pgs., $16.00

English: Flag of pirate Edward England Polski:...

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This is the sequel to Wooding’s Steampunk inspired Retribution Falls.  Darian Frey, Captain of the Ketty Jay, an airship that is mostly involved in pirate activity, is basking in the glow of his previous accomplishment, ironically a non-piratical event that did service to the empire.  His disparate crew seems to be coming together, his ship needs some work but is still flying, and he’s feeling a lot better about his lot than he has in a long time.  Then he meets Grist, a fellow pirate captain who has a lead on treasure.  That the treasure is in the heart of Kurg, a region known for huge, mysterious and blood thirsty beasts is one thing.  That Kurg’s ship is ten times the size of the Ketty Jay and more heavily armed is another.  That Grist is specifically looking for him is the third.  All of these things Frey ignores because of the treasure, boredom, and a need for cash.  Grist needs a daemonist to open a door on a ship that has been found in the jungles of Krug and Frey just happens to have one on his crew.  What is found beyond that door is not what is expected and the actions that lead to the door and come afterward have far-reaching consequences for Frey and each of his crew members.  Before he knows it, Frey’s crew is falling apart; two have left, one has had her secret outed, another has come unglued because of a cat, and Frey himself feels like it’s all coming to an end—especially since a woman from Frey’s past, now the most feared pirate in the sky, has returned once again to taunt him and take everything away.

There are two things about The Black Lung Captain that make it worth reading; the universe and the characters.  Wooding has constructed a fun universe of lighter than airships, pirates, war, empire, intrigue, magic and politics that serves as a superb background for adventure.  And then he has populated it with interesting, likable and intriguing characters that are fun to hang out with.  Each of the characters is following their own storyline as well so there are multiple paths being followed from beginning to end and these paths weave in amongst themselves on and off.  And, by the end of the book there is resolution, or, at least as much resolution as you can expect in these cases where you know there is a third book in the outing so something needs to be saved for that and we don’t really begrudge Wooding’s doing so because we want there to be another book as well.

The Black Lung Captain is well written and entertaining.  Picking up this book allows you to set aside the world you inhabit and be transported to a world of Wooding’s creation.  There are fewer and fewer books out there that do this well it seems.  This book is perfect at it.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  You should definitely pick up the first book, Retribution Falls, and read it first.  Not that it contains all that much information that you will need to understand this one but more because you owe it to yourself to discover  not one but two books that are worth buying and reading.

Buy this book by clicking here: The Black Lung Captain

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

One Response to The Black Lung Captain, Chris Wooding, Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0-345-52250-4, 536 pgs., $16.00

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Ace of Skulls, a Tale of the Ketty Jay

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