So Stephen Hunt, who runs SF Crowsnest, wrote this victorian steampunk novel called Court of the Air. .

And boy, howdy is this book chock full of weird ideas and twists on the modern world (aerostats for blimps, steammen for living robots).

And boy, howdy is this book chock full of characters (the multiple steammen who are friends to the two protagonists kind of got smooshed together in my mind after a while) and disturbing ideas.

It’s like if someone took Victorian England, added a dash of Jules Verne and a twist of Chthulhu mythos (in the end they battle ancient insectoid gods) and iced it with some Urban Fantasy (in this world there are “fey”, people who develop pyschic powers after being exposed to “the feymist.”)

Set in a city called Jackels, two young orphans are on a quest to find out why people are trying to kill them. People from a myterious secret service called the “court of the air” and people from a secret underground city of Grimhope (who want to invite aformentioned insectoid gods into the world.)

In general, this book was so full of interesting ideas that I could keep reading despite not ever being satisfied with the characters. The main characters started out sympathetic, but then they just became superheroes on their quest. The engaging sub characters were just a tad too numerous for me to feel properly.

It was hard for me to finish the book because if I put the book down for the night, the next time I tried to read it all the political intrigue and characters were hard to keep straight.

Guardedly Recommended.