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Skies of Fire: The Ether Chronicles Mass Market Paperback – April 17, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Ether Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Zoë Archer is a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of adventure, sexy men, and women who make no apologies for kicking ass. Her books include the Hellraisers paranormal historical series and the acclaimed Blades of the Rose paranormal historical adventure series. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the '80s. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles.


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Product Details

  • Series: The Ether Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062184490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062184498
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,039,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Zoe Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, trade off writing the books in the steampunk romance series THE ETHER CHRONICLES. June 2013 will see the launch of her new gritty Victorian romance series, NEMESIS, UNLIMITED for St. Martin's Press. Zoe and Nico live in Los Angeles. Please visit her on the Web at http://www.zoearcherbooks.com/

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story centers around Christopher Redmond, a Man O'War in an alternate Victorian-era, steam punk Europe. In this world, scientists have discovered how to turn a few rare men into Navy Men O'Wars. The Men O'Wars have extraordinary physical abilities and act as symbiotic power-plants for the arial ships they captain. There's a lot of hand-wavy science going on but you have to expect that with steam punk, and I didn't mind it since it was internally consistent.

Anyway, when the story starts, Captain Redmond's busy with an arial naval battle in which he and a few other British vessels are fighting against a greater number of vessels manned by the Huns of Hapsburg. So the action is off to a rollicking start. He's a paragon of captain-ly-ness, and the only thing that he has trouble with is keeping the thoughts of Louisa Shaw off his mind. She's a covert operative that he had an intense relationship with, but she left him three years ago, and he's never recovered. Of course, they soon meet up in dangerous conditions, deep in enemy territory, and they're thrown together in an adventure together to save themselves and Britain.

So, on the romance side, it's a former-lovers-coming-together tale with some real emotional poignancy as well as explicitly (and well) described sex scenes. On the adventuring side, the author does a great job of keeping the action rolling and the stakes high within a fairly simple achieve-the-mission-and-get-back-home plot.

The story's real heart is the romance, so the author focuses tightly on the two main characters. I liked them both. Christopher is sexy, honorable, tortured, protective, loving, and brooding. Yum. But for me, Louisa stole the show. She's brilliant and driven and flawed and courageous.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Captain Christopher Redmond was just a man when British Naval Intelligence agent, Louisa Shaw, left him years ago. Since then he has become a Man O' War, something more than human and tied to his ship in a way no other man can be. Protecting the skies of Europe is a duty he takes very seriously and when Louisa's mission gets compromised bringing their paths together again he'll suffer the constant reminder of their past for the sake of duty. But this is one mission that might cost the pair everything as they find themselves stuck behind enemy lines and the skies afire with the unresolved passion they once shared.

SKIES OF FIRE has a terrific set up. The steampunk elements Archer (and co-creator, Nico Rosso) has put together are sure to find fans. The story itself had some moments of drag where it felt like not much was happening but once the action picked up it was impossible to put this one down. SKIES OF FIRE is definitely for fans of the Meljean Brook's Iron Seas, a great wait filler between installments. If you liked Rhys and Mina (from The Iron Duke) you'll love Christopher and Louisa's ability to carry a steamy relationship along through one heck of a dangerous mission behind enemy lines.

I liked Christpher and Louisa from the get-go. Both are very no-nonsense in their respective duties and yet in private, manage to show amusing quirks that made them both very endearing. If you love a romance pairing where the hero is the brawn and the heroine is the brains without either actually being weak or unintelligent you will enjoy them immensely. They work well together and carry the action of this steampunk adventure well. Romances where the hero and heroine have a past can be problematic but in this case it actually gave it a richness that worked in its favor.

Highly recommended for steampunk romance readers looking for some serious spice and a solid adventure too.

***ARC received via publisher.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is interesting that I like the couple in this book so much while feeling very meh about the actual story. The world is interesting but there is simply not enough of it. There are no real antagonist present. All we get is the idea of the villains. Because this is a series book I figure some of the world book losing took place in earlier instalments.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If the British Admiralty is sending airships to fight the Hapsburgs, then this must be steampunk. And damned fine steampunk indeed!

Zoë Archer's latest book, Skies of Fire, is that steampunk, the first tale of The Ether Chronicles. It's that "ether" that powers those airships. Along with something, or rather someone, who has been transformed into a "Man O'War". And no, Ms. Archer was not referring to the horse.

In this alternate-19th century, a scientist has discovered a rare element: Telumium. Telumium is amazing. One of its byproducts is ether, which powers the airships, and ether rifles, and ether-based lights. Another, even more amazing, property of Telumium is that it can be bonded to a human being, creating a super-human, a Man O'War. A Man O'War's strength is what literally powers his airship.

Christopher Redmond captains HMS Demeter, and his small gunship is trapped and looking for a place to repair behind enemy lines when he catches the glint of an SOS from a British agent. Literally a glint: the signal is being sent by mirror flashes, and only his enhanced sight could have caught it.

Even while hiding from the enemy, Redmond is duty-bound to retrieve that agent, so he drops the jollyboat with a small crew. He puts himself on that jollyboat, knowing the agent must be in desperate straights.

The agent is desperately in need of rescue. And is the last person Christopher Redmond expected to find in the Carpathian Mountains. Or anywhere in his life again. Louisa Shaw is the only woman he ever loved. But when he asked her to marry him, three years ago, she left him, without a work, without a note. He underwent the transformation to become a Man O'War not long after. But he never stopped loving her, even while he sometimes hated her.
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