Short-listed for the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award
"If Robert Louis Stevenson and Patrick O'Brian had teamed up to write a rollicking fantasy, Chris Wooding's Retribution Falls would be the result. Pirates, sky-ships, and golems are just the trappings for a far-flung adventure of stunning imagination and brilliant craftsmanship. I've already booked passage for the next flight of the Ketty Jay...long may she sail!"
--James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Altar of Eden
"Beautifully crafted prose and some remarkably imaginative scenes ...and Wooding's sprawling, multifaceted world and rough-and-tumble action will delight steampunk fans." -Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"Retribution Falls picks you up, whisks you swiftly and entertainingly along, and sets you down with a big smile on your face." –Joe Abercrombie, author of The Last Argument of Kings
"A fast exhilarating read . . . the kind of old fashioned adventure I didn’t think we were allowed to write anymore, of freebooting privateers making their haphazard way in a wondrous retro-future world." —Peter Hamilton, author of The Temporal Void
"This is a wonderful book." –New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris
"Retribution Falls is an inventive, high-flying adventure full of secrets, sky pirates, and suspense, complete with cocky heroes and daring escapes. Fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly will love it." –Christopher Golden, co-author of The Secret Journeys of Jack London
"Engaging characters, interesting world, a story that moves -- what more can you ask for?" –Troy Denning, New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Abyss
"If Robert Louis Stevenson and Patrick O'Brian had teamed up to write a rollicking fantasy, Chris Wooding's Retribution Falls would be the result. Pirates, sky-ships, and golems are just the trappings for a far-flung adventure of stunning imagination and brilliant craftsmanship. I've already booked passage for the next flight of the Ketty Jay...long may she sail!"--James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of Altar of Eden
"If masterful plotting were the book's only attribute, then Retribution Falls would still be a first-rate read. What makes it exceptional is the psychological insight rare in fast-paced, adventure SF…On every level, Retribution Falls is a triumph." –Guardian (UK)
“A sky pirate adventure that features quirky characters—including a mechanical golem and a bad-tempered cat—witty dialog, and enough fast-paced action to please fans of swashbuckler fantasy.” –Library Journal
"If any book can be given its own genre then this would surely fall under the heading of fun…and alongside Phillip Pullman’s superlative Dark Materials trilogy this is one of the best Steampunk novels out there." –Fantasy Book Review
"One of the best pieces of fun I’ve read in a long while…a whip-cracking pace and with characters you care about…If you’re looking for a book where the pages just fly in reading, then look no further - this is a great read." –SFFWorld
"So what's not to love in this book - fast action, great characters, great setting and superb one-liners? Highly, highly recommended and another notable SFF novel of 09 for me" –Fantasy Book Critic
"If you are looking for a fun, page-turning scifi read, then Retribution Falls is for you. If Joe Abercrombie ever wrote a science fiction book, this is the sort of thing he'd come up with." –Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
"From the dialogue with supremely funny re-joiners to the a world that is so well realized, Retribution Falls is a can't miss novel. The fast and furious Retribution Falls is a staggeringly and ridiculously good page turner" –Booktionary
"This is an exciting story and the misadventures and foolhardy escapades of this crew are extremely amusing. As in all good pirate stories, terrific battles between ships abound" –ReadPlus
"I’d recommend [Retribution Falls] to anyone who’s after a dose of rip roaring adventure." –Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
"Retribution Falls is an excellent novel" --SFCrowsnest
Darian Frey, captain of the airship Ketty Jay and commander of a dysfunctional crew that specializes in running contraband, smuggling, and other illicit activities, accepts a job that goes awry and results in the pursuit of his ship and crew by the Coalition Navy. Dodging enemies on both sides of the law, the Ketty Jay sets out in search of the legendary haven of Retribution Falls, where the crew hopes to recuperate and, ultimately, prove their innocence, at least regarding their current predicament. YA author Wooding ("Broken Sky" series; The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray) presents his first adult fantasy, a sky pirate adventure that features quirky characters—including a mechanical golem and a bad-tempered cat—witty dialog, and enough fast-paced action to please fans of swashbuckler fantasy. VERDICT Intended as light fantasy with an emphasis on air tactics and swordplay, this should appeal to fans of action-based fantasy.
Popular British YA author Wooding (Havoc, 2010, etc.) makes his adult debut with this rollicking, picaresque steampunk fantasy.
On an unnamed but seemingly boundless planet populated chiefly by aristocrats and outcasts—piracy is a popular career choice, perhaps because there's nothing much else to do—Darian Frey is the captain and proud owner of the flying machineKetty Jay. Such machines fly by the power of a magical gas and feature advanced explosive weapons, yet they don't even have radio. Some devices are powered by demons. If you can swallow all that, read on. The piratical Frey cares only for himself and his ship; his crew are the usual motley bunch of endearing rascals—a reckless pilot, a cowardly pilot, the requisite alcoholic doctor, a "daemonist" and his golem, a taciturn escaped slave and an undead navigator with developing superpowers—though all have well-developed histories. Frey, looking for easy money, accepts a dubious commission to hijack a valuable cargo. Naturally it all goes horribly wrong, Frey finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy, and both sides want him dead. There's plenty of action, derring-do, double-crossing, trickery and gore, though the human settlements the ship drifts through are uniformly drab, tawdry and depressing. The characters grow in the telling. Too bad the whole thing bears such an uncomfortable resemblance to the short-lived but well-regarded TV seriesFirefly.
Presumably Wooding's past and present YA fans will wish to step up; otherwise, only for readers who don't have a skeptical bone in their bodies.