The Court of the Air Hardcover – Jun 10 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Two teenage orphans in an anemic fantasy analogue of Victorian London are baffled to find themselves on the run in this overeager effort from British author and blogger Hunt (For the Crown and the Dragon). Molly, pursued by determined assassins with mysterious masters, hides underground, while Oliver, framed for his uncle's death, takes to the air to escape the fey-hunting Special Guard. They also draw the attention of the Court of the Air, a shadowy black-ops organization, and communityist revolutionaries seeking to resurrect ancient subterranean gods. An entire steampunk menagerie is pressed into lackluster service, but the pace leaves no time to focus on any single element. Only the steammen and their refreshingly tender machine culture are affecting and original. The historical and geographical parallels are overly frequent and mostly trite. Hunt has packed the story full of intriguing gimmicks, but the end result is more overload than wonder. (June)
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“The Court of the Air is a genuinely engaging read, which has believable characters in a fantastic setting.”--The Bookseller
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Top Customer Reviews
Reccommmendations for: A large cast of characters, the steamen race, intriguing ideas, great imagination, good ending.
Against: The most interesting characters are often the minor ones, many of the intriguing plot-points aren't developed fully, some of the side-character-views seemed rather uneccessary to the plot as a whole.
There is a lot of potential for further development in this universe, and I will no doubt read Hunt's other books. This book may not be the best introduction to his world, but the bright side: this book does get better as you get into it, and it is one of those you need to read to the end to appreciate. So for other reviewers -- please don't review what you haven't read.
Don't let the 600+ pages fool you - it goes quickly with Stephen Hunt's writing style. To create this new world, he brings in all kinds of new words and concepts but they are so well used that its only a couple pages before you accept them as normal.
Its hard to find really good steam punk novels, and I would say this is the best one I've read so far. I'm looking forward to reading more of Stephen Hunt's works.
Most recent customer reviews
I didn't finish it either. Too many characters, too much changing direction, too many superweapons that turn out to be useless ten pages later and invincible fighters who are... Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2009 by TimInBC
Hunt creates a vividly imagined fantasy world, but the characters are unidimensional and flat. Like too many works of the kind, children speak with the voices of adults, and they... Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2009 by Amenhotep