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Hardback Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass

Title: The Aeronaut’s Windlass
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Book 1
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
Page Count: 630
Publisher: Tor
Rated: 4.5/5 stars!

I read the A. Windless book in two and a half days, because I wanted the story to linger so it took a little longer to finish. Jim Butcher proceeds to be one of my most favorite fantasy authors in the fantasy genre! While this was a completely different world from that of Dresden Files, not to mention his other fantasy series that is underrated (in my opinion) the Furies series {look up name of series}, this one is still very “Jim Butcher” in that it’s unique, got loads of characters I adore, and has lots of drama, talking cats!, and airships.
This book starts off with a duel between a girl (a very ‘large’ girl!) and a guy that’s an entitled a**. It progresses to include talking cats, friendships that you didn’t see coming, enemies that you want to kill just because they’re that evil. The airship kinda makes me think of a blend between Firefly and Enterprise, especially in regards to the crew. Whether Jim Butcher made Journeyman out to be like Scotty of the engineering department, I don’t know. But that’s how I saw him as.
Gwen, Benedict, Rowl, Captain Grimm (or, in the cat’s terms Captain Tall Trees), and Littlemouse…I adored the entire cast. The bad guys were appropriately bad, and the good guys were awesome to the point that I couldn’t begin to decide who was my favorite. At first I thought it was Gwen, then I changed my mind to Benedict, then to Rowl, then to…well, you get the idea. There is quite the cast of characters in this book, that almost makes up having to read 630 pages! That’s a fair bit of reading to be done, and while I’m a fast reader, there’s a lot going on in this here monster of a book. Jim Butcher’s descriptions of airships in general is extensive. How one would fix engines so that they would go faster. How wood is so expensive for repairs. How the crew would mutiny if fed terrible food made by the Captain again. (I loved that scene.)
And then there’s Littlemouse, who has a cat! Or rather, the cat has her. Littlemouse, being not so little either. She was a brave, strong, true friend to all, especially to Folly and Gwen. And how could I have forgotten to mention Folly earlier? She is one of my real favorites! For some reason, I lean most towards the maddest character driven people in fantasy novels. Who knew? Then there’s her old Master Farus. He reminded me a lot of the old man in the Dragonlance series. What was his name? The old man who liked flinging fireballs…I have a very strong feeling that he and Master Farus would get a long splendidly. Those two would make for a dangerous combination.
Then there are the ships themselves. Captain Grimm’s Predator was my personal favorite, but I liked the ship names-the Itasca! The Valiant! The Thunderous! So many strong ship names!
I could blather on and on about this book, of which I didn’t think I would love nearly as much as I did by the end of it. My only real complaint was that ending. Jim Butcher, you stole my heart with this book, and I need another, please. I especially want more stories about cats coming in to save the day!
There were some mysteries-more than some, I think-left by the end of the book, though I can see why the author left it off as he did. At 630 pages, its a monster of a book, and there is still a large amount of the story to be resolved. The Enemy may have gotten away, and the Predator may need to be repaired (again) and they may have lost a large number of people throughout the book…
But at the end of it all, this was a truly unique, originally, heart in your throat read.
My hat goes off to you, Jim Butcher.
If by some chance you happen to see this review, I do hope you like it. A friend of mine insisted that I didn’t need to write a ten page review of the book, much though I wanted to.
So cheers,
And-
Pass Me That Book!

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Hardback Book Review: The Last Place On Earth

Title: The Last Place on Earth
Author: Carol Snow
Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pages: 298

Review:

I dove into this book and didn’t come up for air until I hit the very end, closing the book with a satisfication that I hadn’t done in an age. While there were books that I had liked here and there, there hasn’t been one that I really *clicked* with, and this book did it for me. It was all about surviving out in the wild, a trope that I really love, and learning how to get on after the fall of humanity. I saw where this book was going when the first few classmates that Daisy had started sick, but it was still an unexpected twist at the end. I liked Henry, I liked Kyle, and Karessa, and Kirsten was awesome. I liked Mrs. Hawking, and Daisy’s mother, and Peter. The characters were all identifiable. The situation was something that I believe fully possible, though I didn’t believe the solution to the epidemic was correct.
This is a book about “preppers”, families who go out into the wild to survive against any kind of ‘fall of humanity’ type of situation, anything from the zombie apocalypse to the buobonic plague. It’s all very fascinating, and some of it read like a horror novel as well, which was a bonus to me. Daisy spent most of the book searching for her best friend Henry, who mysteriously disappears. After breaking into his home to see if he left any clues (he did, a note that reads “save me”), she goes on a quest to find him. As she searches for him, there are all kinds of various survival situations. I was disappointed this wasn’t an “alien invasion” type book, but it still was one of my favorites. I believe fans of “The Fifth Wave” by Rick Yancy would really enjoy this book, it echoes that world very strongly.
The Last Place on Earth is going to be one of those books that lingers long after I read it, and I’m happy to say that it’s also helped shove me out of my reading slump that I’ve been in lately. I’ve read this one, and immediately after that I’ve read a handful of others as well that will soon have reviews posted at some point in time.
Five stars!

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