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Secrets Of The Fire Sea Hardcover – Mar 8 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books (March 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007289634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007289639
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 699 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,841,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Praise for Stephen Hunt: 'Hunt's imagination is probably visible from space. He scatters concepts that other writers would mine for a trilogy like chocolate-bar wrappers. This is Philip Pullman with a dose of benzedrine. Hold on to your hat and let yourself get carried away.' Tom Holt 'A ripping yarn ! the story pounds along ! constant inventiveness keeps the reader hooked ! the finale is a cracking succession of cliffhangers and surprise comebacks. Great fun' SFX 'An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels' Lisa Tuttle, The Times 'The characters are convincing and colourful, but the real achievement is the setting, a hellish take on Victorian London ! the depth and complexity of Hunt's vision makes it compulsive reading for all ages' Guardian 'Wonderfully assured ! Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension' Time Out 'All manner of bizarre and fantastical extravagance.' Daily Mail 'Rich and colourful !keeps you engrossed !a confident, audacious novel' SFX 'Like a magpie, Stephen Hunt has plucked colourful events from history and politics and used them for inspiration ! Hunts tells his full-blooded tale with lip-smacking relish, revealing a vivid, often gruesome imagination ! [it] brims with originality and, from the first, its chase-filled plot never lets up' Starburst 'Studded with invention' Independent

About the Author

Stephen Hunt has worked as a writer, editor and publisher for a number of magazines and national newspaper groups in the UK. He is also the founder of www.SFcrowsnest.com, one of the oldest and most popular fan-run science fiction and fantasy websites. Born in Canada, the author divides his time between the UK, North America and Spain. His interests include computer programming, the graphic arts and collecting comics. One day he hopes to have a library large enough to house all of his books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa3dfe228) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3fb848c) out of 5 stars Fast paced and brilliantly creepy Aug. 27 2010
By April M. Steenburgh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite of the series so far. Most of the pacing issues I had with previous books, the sort of situation where everything goes to hell in such a rushed fashion the reader is almost left behind, are delightfully absent in this one. The Commodore drove me nuts, as usual, with his eternal put-upon misery, but even that had a fantastic pay off by the end. I think, after finishing the book, that Commodore Black was one of my favorite characters. His scene at the end is just so visceral. Not punches pulled. And I loved it.

Add in Jethro Daunt, the Circlist priest who was kicked out due do the fact he hears old gods (possessing an amazing talent for deductive reasoning), and his companion Boxiron, the head of a Steamman Knight inexpertly attached to the inferior man-made machine body (with an issue with aggression and stuck gears, not to mention a black market skill set) , and Fire Sea has a cast that not only grabs the readers attention but pulls them through each and every page. Every now and then Jethro appears to be a fantastic hat tilt to Sherlock Holmes, and on occasion made me chuckle with appreciation. His first scene in the book really drives that impression, and I was unable to get it out of my head whenever he was in a scene for the rest of the book.

The main protagonist is Hannah Conquest, ward of the church and math prodigy. She is interesting, but serves more as a reason to bring the rest of the cast together than anything else. Purity and Molly remain far more compelling heroines in my opinion.

The isle of Jago itself presents a creepy, hellish setting. From the corrupting domain of the valvemen to the beasts that roam the exterior of the city there is an omnipresent sense of danger and horror. The book itself is full of murder, conspiracy, and skulking Old Gods, which combined with the setting adds the twisted horror aspect I have come to love and expect from Hunt's books.

The Ursine race added another interesting culture to the social menagerie that populates the world, and the fact the plot hinged on something more mundane than most of the other novels- race/culture conflict between the Humans and the Ursines- the book as a whole was a more intriguing read.

This is a wholly brilliant addition to the series. I highly recommend picking it up!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3fb84e0) out of 5 stars I liked this, but not as much as the previous novels March 30 2012
By Jane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mm! This isn't my favorite of the series, I think I actually preferred both the first and second over Secrets. That said, it's still fun and engaging. The story and plot twists are particularly well paced in this one. Character development is wonderful- as usual. Jethro and Boxiron are -delightful- and the introduction of a new race is wonderful as well. Learning about a place that escaped the villains of the first book was pretty spectacular too. Stephen Hunt's created universe is just so rich and intriguing it's hard not to enjoy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3fb8f48) out of 5 stars Stephen Hunt is a spectacular writer Oct. 29 2011
By keepinthatempo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy books that keep you on edge through the whole story this is one for you. another great work by stephen. the same suspenseful story he produces with all his jackileain books but with those twists and turns that no other could produce. gives more back story on a few of the character's and of course Ole' Blackey is right in the middle of everything.
HASH(0xa3fb8fcc) out of 5 stars Riveting steampunk adventure Feb. 15 2016
By inner exile - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
just like the ones encountered in the first two books of the series, the third being mildly disappointing - feel free to read my corresponding reviews. The story begins as a murder mystery defrocked Circlist parson turned private detective Jethro Daunt and his mongrel steamman associate Boxiron (with the sophisticated skull unit of a steamman knight mounted on Catosian man-milled inferior body) are sent by the Jackelian Inquisition to investigate on the remote Isle of Jago, which is surrounded by bubbling magma of the Fire Sea, although being located in arctic latitudes. In addition, Jethro is being tempted by the elusive, ancient therianthropic god Badger-headed Joseph, whispering: "We're the ones that went before your godless church set up empty altars to the reason of humanity" (p. 171).

Then it quickly becomes a fascinating quest for a double-edged god-formula hidden in steganographic code ("a demigod fit for the dark, blasted heart of Jago" p. 426) as new characters enter the stage, including the bright Hannah and her ursine friend Chalph from the Pericurian trading mission, alongside a young Jackelian archaeologist Nani, for this latter of whom I couldn't really care that much.
The author is adept at introducing us to local technology, environment and bit of historico-mythology (steam generated electricity, gigantic subterranean vaults and canals of Hermetica City, and Jago once being the birthplace of the Circlist enlightenment irradiating the rest of the world at the end of the Chimecan Empire and coeval Ice Age), as well as intrigue and subterfuge involving the local Circlist archbishopric vs. the Guild of Valvemen, Stained Senate's Pericurian mercenaries vs. city militia, the machinations of the Archduchess of the matriarchal island nation of Pericuria, and many more…culminating in a large scale armed conflict, with old Blacky's customarily indispensable sabre duel towards the very end.

We also explore the inhospitable, frozen surface interior of Jago, inhabited by feral ursks and simian ab-locks, many of which are forced to do slave work in the hazardous confines of turbine halls deep below Hermetica City itself: "the agonized yells of the ab-lock that lost a leg to the twisting fan of a turbine, or the one that was blinded by a stray squirt of superheated water from a condenser running over-pressurized" (p. 205).
My favourite episodes include a perilous descent in a shaft, in the protection of exoskeletal RAM (Rigid Armour Motile) suit, to fix a jammed regulator gate on a steam tap that reads like some hard SF (ch. 12, 14); and two incidents starring the already mentioned steamman: when struggling with the Steamo Loa named "Radius Patternkeeper, Lord of the Ravenous Fire," who attempts to take possession of Boxiron's mind; plus a cyberpunkish scene of hacking into the central transaction-engine (computer):

"With the valve-mind nipping furiously at his mentality, Boxiron swerved across one of the main data channels and let loose with a trick that had been gifted to him by the same artful mechomancer who'd turned him into the steamman equivalent of a battering ram for the ignoble art of breaking and entering Jackal's locks and engines. Boxiron slashed down with a piece of self-replicating code that scattered like hell's own rainfall above the crowded channel of data handlers below. Without the reassurance of the comfortable system chatter nudging them along, pushing them towards their different destinations, they flew upwards, blindly groping for orders,…for the familiar" (p. 155).

(Contrary to the product description this paperback edition, Harper Voyager 2011, counts not 560 but 439 pages.)
HASH(0xa3fb95b8) out of 5 stars Commodore Black, WHY?!?! May 1 2013
By M. Jentzsch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay, so Stephen Hunt is one of my two favoritest authors in the universe. Full disclosure. I love the crazy. If you like your fantasy straight, he's not for you.

But I have to say Commodore Black has started getting on my nerves. He WHINES SO MUCH! Other than that, I have little negative to say other than I wasn't quite sure how to envision parts of Hermetica City which didn't work well when the book started reaching its climax. There was one rather sudden death of a supporting character that made me sad, but he does have a tendency to kill about 40% of them off during a given climax so it wasn't a total shock, even as it was fairly shocking.

Steam robots, anachronistic super-tech, ancient gods, Sherlock Holmes analogue, conspiracy, mysterious ruins, powered armor, black powder, submarines, a murder mystery and war. You really can't go wrong with a book like this.

I'd give it 5 stars but compared to Court of the Air (#1) and Rise of the Iron Moon (#3), even Kingdom Beyond the Waves (#2), it just doesn't hold up quite as well. The preceding books were just as nuts while being a bit more compelling in their insanity. Compared to those this feels a little dialed in, but it's still so far and away more creative than almost anything else out there, I couldn't help but love it.

Gonna have to import the last 2 I think.


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