Steal the Sky: The Scorched Continent Book One

Steal the Sky: The Scorched Continent Book One

by Megan E. O'Keefe

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Winner of the 2017 Gemmel Morningstar Award

Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet - the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia. 

But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful - there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship. 

File Under
Fantasy [ Sky Heist | Doppel Vision | Knives Out | Up Up and Away ]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857664907
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Series: Scorched Continent Series , #1
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 458,071
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Megan E. O’Keefe lives in the Bay Area of California and makes soap for a living. (It’s only a little like Fight Club.) She has worked in arts management and graphic design, and spends her free time tinkering with anything she can get her hands on.

Megan is a first place winner in the Writers of the Future competition, vol. 30. Steal the Sky is her first novel.

You can find Megan online at and@MeganofBlushie on Twitter.

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Steal the Sky: The Scorched Continent Book One 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is severely underrated. My new all-time fsvorite!
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.] An interesting world with a lot of background remaining to be discovered, and characters that all hide more depth than one would think at first. However, I found the story itself somewhat confusing. It starts with an offer that our main thief/conman character, Detan Honding, is in no position to refuse, coming from the very captain of the Watch. A strange request: steal the newfangled airship of ex-Commodore Thratia, an exile from the the Valathean empire, infamous for her ruthless methods. Soon enough, though, Detan and Tibal, his friend and associate, realise they may be out of their depth here, and that the players involved aren't so easy to thwart. A lot of things revolve around selium, a strange gas found on the Scorched Continent, that can only be manipulated by sel-sensitive people. Privileged in a way, but slaves in many others: they have no other choice than to work in the selium mines (regular people won't be their friends if their shirk their “duty”...), those who lose their skill are forced into retirement, and those with “deviant” talents are sooner or later captured and experimented upon by the Valathean “whitecoats”. Not such very enthralling prospects. As for criminals in Aransa, the mining city where the story is set, they can choose to die by the axe, or to “walk the Black”, aka letting the scorching sun of the obsidian desert kill them in a matter of minutes (if they're lucky). There's a lot seemingly going on behind the scenes. Valathea, for instance, with its blend of refinement and cruelty (I couldn't help but envision a mix between Roman and Chinese civilisations, in terms of conquest and clothing, with airships and an elite corps of scientists bent on dissecting people with sel-related abilities). The Scorched had a “Far West/unconquered land” vibe in some ways—perhaps because of the whole desert thing and of how it tried to remain out of Valathea's influence, but could feel it pressing down closer and closer. Additionally, many characters appear simple at first (Detan is a conman, Ripka the loyal Watch captain, Thratia a ruthless manipulator who won't hesitate to kill people, the doppel a mysterious killer with a single goal...) yet soon show signs of being more than meet the eye, with agendas and knowledge of their own, However, while the world felt rich, and provides enough ground to cover more than one book in that regard, the plot was a bit all over the place, as if it couldn't decide what to focus on. The expected heist (stealing an airship) wasn't so exciting nor given that much attention, with our conmen being more outclassed than actually able to properly work on it, and with the story veering into murder investigation, and revenge, and intrigue, and a few more things. This felt more confusing than anything else. I guess this is partly a case of “it's not the book, it's me”: I like heist stories, but I like them with my burglars/conmen being able to have a marginal success at least. Here, both Detan and Tibs went from failure to failure, with Detan losing his “rogue” charm, and after a while I didn't really care anymore. 2.5 stars.The setting remains interesting, so I may check the next book if NetGalley or the library has it, because the group at the end has potential for good adventures, complete with an already existing dangerous enemy, and with another potential antagonist looming in the background. We'll see.
Trinitytwo More than 1 year ago
Detan Honding and his faithful sidekick/mechanic Tibs are in trouble, as usual. Their flier needs major repairs, leaving them stranded in the selium rich mining town of Aransa in the Scorched Continent which is as dried out as its name suggests. In this post-apocalyptic world, selium is the major source of energy and power. There's one drawback: only those born with sel-sensitivity can trace it. Regardless of rank or wealth, any person found to posses the gift is obliged to work in the mines divining new selium to harvest. Citizens look the other way, but these people are nothing short of slaves to the selium mines, and life expectancy is short owing to the combustible nature of the gas. Due to the recent murder of the town's warden, Honding and Tibs soon discover that, with their checkered pasts, it's not a good time to be stuck in this particular part of the Scorched Continent. The local authorities, headed by watch captain Ripka Leshe, have enough trouble on their hands tracking the murderer; a suspected sel-sensitive or doppel, who can manipulate selium to masquerade as someone else. Honding's bravado and big mouth quickly entangle the pair in the political machinations of ruthless ex-Commodore Thratia Ganal who will stop at nothing to be elected the next warden. Lethal threats abound and, true to form, Honding devises a risky plan to escape the perilous sands of Aransa by stealing Thratia's prized airship, the Larkspur, right out from under her nose. I liked O'Keefe's cast of characters right from the start. Detan Honding's a complicated mess, which makes him unique and extremely likeable. He's a charming, reckless con man who enjoys mouthing off to authority figures. He's smart enough to know better, but can't quite help himself which often made me cringe and giggle at the same time. I admire the fact that his sense of mischief is never quite beaten out of him no matter what hardships he encounters. Honding's irreverent personality balances the bleak setting of the arid mining town and the grim subject matter of a downtrodden population. Tibs is constantly working to steer Honding out of trouble and is the best kind of sidekick; one who ignores and insults his friend whenever the opportunity arises yet is also unwaveringly loyal. His total disregard for Honding's wishes kept me entertained throughout the novel. Steal the Sky was not the entertaining romp through a desert mining town that I expected after reading the opening chapters; it was so much more. O'Keefe's debut contains elements of action, adventure, steam punk, and espionage with a hefty dose of social inequality issues that make it an exciting and thought provoking read. Read the review in its entirety at The Qwillery:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An awesome read! Check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An endless series of narrow escapes by suddenly shifting alliances of cardboard cutout characters. I lost the will to read more 2/3 of the way through.