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Retribution Falls: Tales of Ketty Jay. - Ed's journal
Retribution Falls: Tales of Ketty Jay.
Just finished reading:
Retribution Falls: Tales of Ketty Jay.

A somewhat disfunctional crew of reprobates, on board a light freighter, just about on the wrong side of the law. It starts slow, as ... well, pretty fundamentally, the kind of people who end up skeezing it on a tramp freighter aren't really the nicest of people. But it develops their characters, brings to light their backplot through the book, and by the end you've gone from a bunch of people who you dislike or are apathetic towards, to a crew you're rooting for.
It's a ... sort of odd blend of fantasy and sci-fi. The 'Ketty Jay' is an airship for example, and the setting is one where there seems to be rather extensive buccaneering. But there's also a bit of magic mixed in, but it's done in a way that really isn't jarring.
But the trick when you're doing that - and dropping 10 new characters into play - is just how you go from setting up the world to play in, to defining the characters, and telling the story.
I have to say, Chris Wooding has done a really good job of it. The pace of the book keeps up nicely, so you don't really get the feeling of having the 'world canvas' being drawn before you, but yet by the end, you've come to see and appreciate it. And you've seen the characters grow and develop before your eyes, without really noticing it.

It's hard to avoid the comparison with Firefly - there's a lot of similarities in concept. But that's ok. I quite liked Firefly. Where it differs is partly cosmetic - you're talking about an airship on a planet - and party ... well, running deeper. You have a different set of personalities aboard, with their own dynamics and history, and you have just a smidgen of magic, to keep a degree of unfamiliarity with what's possible. (Don't worry, what magic there is isn't overused).
So I'd say I think it's better - takes the idea, runs with it, and mixes in just a bit more deviousness and scheming. Sort of Firefly with a smattering of Crimson Skies (Scott Lynch) and a light dusting of fantasy elements. Particularly I like the idea of the bucaneering airship, and think that works better than the spaceships that Firefly put on the table.

I really enjoyed it, and think I might have to go and re-read it - and will definitely be waiting for the next book, due this year.
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crashbarrier From: crashbarrier Date: February 10th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
yay rogues with a heart.. always makes good story telling:D
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