Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review::Nimbus: A Steampunk Novel (Part One) by Austin King & B.J.Keeton

Nimbus: A Steampunk Novel (Part One) by Austin King & B.J.Keeton

This a clever little novel or novella depending on how you look at it. I really enjoyed reading it and it peaked my interest enough to get me to purchase the remainder of the four. This part contains two stories in the same world that do not connect and yet they somehow tell two stories that are complete and have the promise of sometime later intersecting. I'll find that out when I read the rest, if it proves to be true.

Steam-punk seems to still be in a stage where there are quite a number of novels, which fall under the heading, that have quite divergent theme structure and landscape. So there are air ships in this one and possibly floating sky cities or stations.

One of the stories takes place on cloud nine a community where the ruling class live that has three tiers that lay out three class of peoples.Cornelius Rucca is the God-king whose son is dying. There is a supernatural way to save him and Cornelius has access because one of his ancestors was an auger. It might appear that Cornelius is making a deal with the devil and allowing it to cohabit his son in order to save his sons life.

The other story is aboard the airship Gangly Dirigible Jude has only been aboard around a year, young and ambitious he finds that life on the airship as a Hoser can be dangerous and rough with few other rewards than the fresh water he can send to his family. The Gangly Dirigible uses the Hosers to extract water from the clouds that run above the evil fog, which can eat flesh. His friend Fritz has once fallen victim to the fog and it is slowly eating his flesh away day by day.

Dimetrius Rucca, the son of Cornelius lives a somewhat sheltered life but he is cripple. Although his life was spared he has lost the use of his legs. His one dream is to an air ship captain but his father, Cornelius makes a point of denying him that one dream. Through a sequence of fortunate or unfortunate events Dimetrius gains a following from the lowest class and they eventually are spurred to steal an airship for him initially much to his chagrin.

Through greed and a series of unfortunate events connected with that greed; Jude and the son of the owner of the airship and the captain and a few crew discover an old sky platform that might contain riches or might contain pure evil. I'm fairly certain these two stories mean to collide somewhere down the road- or up in the air as it is.

These are both well paced and exciting stories and although the whole story is not complete the two stories resolve out enough to serve as two well told tales that stand on their own.

It will be interesting to finish the other three parts to see where it's going.

Great read for lovers of SSF and steam-punk. Possibly even for Mark Twain Riverboat fans.

J.L. Dobias

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