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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Review: Skies of Fire by Zoe Archer
Author: Zoe Archer
Series: Ether Chronicles, book 1
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: From publisher for review
Buy it here:
For more information visit Zoe Archer's website
Christopher was made into a Man O’War when his lover, Louisa left him. This painful transformation puts a type of metal into him that makes him stronger, more aggressive and powers his airship. He escapes a battle that would have destroyed his ship over enemy land when he sees a signal from a trapped comrade. It turns out to be Louisa who is in intelligence. The information she has gathered can help their side of the war, but what they have to do puts them in mortal danger.
This is the first book in The Ether Chronicles series. It is a Victorian romantic Steampunk romp. It isn’t a very long book, and takes place only over a couple days. I finished it in two sitting. It opens in the middle of an air battle where Christopher fills us in on the details of his life. The story becomes more interesting when Lousia walks right into the story. On top of the awkwardness Louisa comes with information about the enemy that needs to be taken care of. While they are figuring out where they are going, and what they are going to do, they are also dealing with being close to one another.
One of the downsides about this story is how much the reader is told, and not shown. There are a few flashbacks when it comes to how the two characters first met. A lot of other stuff, like Christopher’s transformation, why he was able to do it, is just told to us. The same goes for him being a great captain of his ship. We are told more than once that he is a natural leader, but other than his men seeming to respect him, it isn’t something that is seen, only told.
The story is far more about Christopher than Louisa. When she sees him she decides leaving him was a great big mistake. I liked her as a character. She is strong, quick witted, and has a very nice steamy scene with Christopher. Her problem is the same as our lead man. She tells the reader far too much info. Like Christopher her narrative is heavy when explaining her feelings and how much of a great man he is.
The problems are not just with telling, but also with the danger presented in the story. The danger to the lead characters never felt that serious, I was never sitting at the edge of my seat. What it did well was the rich Steampunk world. A whole war is going on around the characters, and if you enjoy Steampunk with some romantic flavor this may be just the thing.