Here we go! 6/100! Do be aware that I spoil things so if you have any plans of reading this book YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Author: Cherie Priest
Okay, so book number two, but really book 1.2? It was a short read, but really good! Our main characters are Captain Croggon Hainey and Maria Boyd. We met Hainey in the last book, he was the airship pirate who couldn’t take Briar to the walled city of Seattle and instead directed her to Andan Cly (YAY). Maria is new to us and has an exceedingly complicated past. She is Southern/Confederate at heart, but divorced her Confederate husband, married a Union soldier who died and left her a widow. She has been a spy, an actress, a nurse, and a cab driver to name a few of her past professions.
At the start of the book, Hainey, an ex-slave pirate, is trying to get back his airship that was stolen in the previous book by any means necessary and possible and Maria has just been hired by Pinkerton to make sure that the contraband that his stolen ship is carrying gets to its destination. It is another action-packed, rollicking adventure with dirigible chases and a Southern Lady who is not afraid to be sweet and coy one minute and then mean and dangerous the next. The development of a tentative truce and grudging respect between the two main characters is wonderfully done and fun to follow. Maria is crazy and dedicated to her cause, and you cannot help but be swayed by her perseverance and passion.
There is no mention of the rotters or Seattle in this book. It could stand alone, but it is enriched by knowing the story of Boneshaker. It was, again, glorious to have a kick ass female character who could shoot heavy artillery and handguns and swear. I also very much appreciate Cherie Priest’s handling of race relations. She does not shy away from them and constantly reminds us when her characters are ex-slaves and what that means and where they are welcome and where they are not. She uses language of the time that is uncomfortable for a modern day reader, but is necessary to get the racially charged climate of that time period, to show us what our past and history are (even though it is in a speculative historical fiction book). Her novels are speculative, but grown out of fact and truth.
I did not like this book better than Boneshaker, but it was a strong follow-up to an amazing work.
I highly recommend it.