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Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1)

Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1) - Chris Wooding You can't take the sky from me...

This steampunk/fantasy story starts with the captain of flying ship Ketty Jay and one of his passengers being politely interrogated about the launch code to operate his ship. A gun against the head of one of the people in question makes a very convincing argument for cooperation; all in all, not a very good beginning for the captain and people that ended up on his ship. It only gets worse - much worse.

If somebody asked me to describe the book in as few words as possible, I would say it is Firefly in steampunk settings. You do not have to read more than the first couple of pages to convince yourself this is the case: the first scene comes straight from that TV show, wisecracking and all. So does the next one.

Here comes the first problem of the book. Firefly managed to have excellent fleshed out characters.
The guys and girls here and stereotypical and not that exciting. They do get better by the end, but still not good enough for me to care about any one of them.

Complete predictability was another big problem for me. The moment it was clear what is going on - somewhere around the first POV switch - I realized how this book would end. To my complete but expected disappointment I was right. A bunch of misfits which overcame all the odds and became a real crew? Look at practically any movie about modern military life for an example.

Do not get me wrong, other than these two biggies everything else was fine. The action was good and entertaining (although I thought too many people were killed to call this a mindless entertainment). The resident cat of Ketty Jay was an excellent character - the guy drinks rum for crying out loud.
This also speaks volumes about the quality of human characters, by the way.

The final rating is 3.5 stars rounding down. I will most definitely read the next book the moment I need something light to read, or my buddy readers decide it is time to proceed with the series.