I was really looking forward to this book – epic fantasy, rogue-ish pirates, a publisher who puts out very good work, and a new author (I enjoy finding new authors to follow). But sadly this book did not hold my interest or attention.
Detan Honding is of royal birth, but he’s a bit of a con-man/pirate who effuses charm and often talks his way out of a jam. Right now he has his sights set on ‘acquiring’ a prized new airship that belongs to a former commodore of Thratia. It’s no small task, but if anyone could do it, it would be Detan and his crew.
The airship floats by means of an element called selenium and some people are ‘sel-sensitive’ and able to manipulate the selenium. Of course the mining of selenium is a top priority here.
But Thratia is suddenly facing a new threat. A ‘doppel’ – someone who can change his appearance as a result of a sel-deviation. With security now high and on alert because of the doppel, perhaps this isn’t the best time for Detan to be stealing an airship from a ruthless commodore. But… what’s the use of having rogue-ish charm if you aren’t going to use it?
Author Megan E. O’Keefe does some really tremendous world-building here and for her main character she draws on some classic, love-able rogues, like Han Solo or Captain Mal. How can you go wrong?
But the plot meanders lazily and we spend too much time in learning about the world that we don’t really do anything other than get background after background after background. Detan may be modeled after some classic sci-fi love-able characters, but he’s paper-thin and dull to boot.
There was a lot here that seemed like it should be a break-out hit, but perhaps there was too much? I just never got brought in to the story nor fell in love with any of the characters and I was mostly just mightily bored, looking forward to the end.
I’d requested the second book before reading this and am about to start in on it. I hope that, knowing the background now, I might be able to get more into the characters and story. Here’s fingers crossed….
Looking for a good book? Steal the Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe feels like it has everything it needs to be powerful sci-fi/fantasy, but perhaps less is more in this case – we lose interest early as we spend much of the book learning about world instead of going on an adventure.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Steal the Sky
author: Megan E. O’Keefe
series: The Scorched Continent #1
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 448 pages