- File Size: 3729 KB
- Print Length: 118 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 27, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007YJ5A82
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,215 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$2.99|
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Nimbus: A Steampunk Novel (Part 1) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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To be honest, the world felt like it was drawn from various computer games I've played over the years.
Lots of unfeasible airships though, if that's your thing. I can sometimes dig these, but I need characters I care about too and I didn't really care about any of these characters enough to consider buying the rest of the Nimbus story.
Part of the problem is the central conceit (water harvesters of the sky) isn't original enough or entertaining enough to carry the story through the other problems it suffers.
Part of the problem is that any pure fantasy is a ride-along experience in which the reader cannot participate fully because the author will "cheat" at need to get the plot to go where they want. You will never suspect the character motivation invented in the last chapter or the make-it-didn't-happen mcguffin remembered or discovered five pages from the end. That's how fantasy works.
Steampunk can be many things. To capture my dollars it must aspire to Science Fiction's internal consistency and constraining physics rather than Fantasy, unless that fantasy is extremely compelling.
Which Nimbus isn't.
My biggest problem however is the fact that I don't care at all for any of the characters. I wanted to like Jude, but I wasn't given a reason to. I cannot stand Rucca or his father. Then there is the cacophony of characters on board the Gangly Dirigible introduced so fast that it gets confusing.
Let me begin by thanking the authors for taking the time to edit and clean up their manuscript. I can recall very few errors of spelling, grammar or punctuation, and so the overall aftertaste of the story in my mind is a pleasant one. Thank you!
There are two main characters: Demetrius Rucca, born into power and privilege in one of the floating cities, and Jude Finley, a young man who has made his way from the underground Burrows to a job as a crewman on an airship. We get hints early on that Demetrius may be on his way to being the antagonist, yet I found his character to be slightly more interesting than our presumed hero, Jude.
Demetrius is rich and spoiled and he knows it. What's more, he wants to keep reminding everyone around him about his status, so he takes pleasure from insulting people, being rude and obnoxious, and putting those lower than him in their place. Harshly, if need be. His willingness to demean and belittle others for the slightest of offenses gives us a glimpse into the (poor) quality of his character. The complexity of his character comes from the fact that he is genuinely nice to the one or two people he would consider friends, such as one of the local shopkeepers. Demetrius is much more than a one-dimensional antagonist.
Jude, on the other hand, comes across a little flat. He sends his wages, which consist of fresh bottled water straight from the cloud harvest, home to his family, so we see that he is a generous and considerate young man, but I felt like there was no significant conflict going on around him to fully engage his personality. He has occasional squabbles with certain members of the crew, but only one of these seems to have the potential to become a truly dangerous situation. Of course, this altercation is over a girl, also a crewmember on the airship. Nothing comes of it in the first novel, so perhaps later in the series it comes back into play. To sum it up, Jude is simply a nice guy trying to do his best in a really bad situation.
My only complaint about the substance of the writing would be that the authors spent a lot of effort near the beginning of the novel introducing us to a lot of Jude's airship crewmates, most of whom are only minor characters and only intermittently appear in the story. We first meet Jude as he is being roused out of his bunk for unexpected duty. Immediately following this, we are subjected to a long and unnecessary sequence of Jude talking to his airship mates on the way to his duty station. In my opinion, it would have been better for us as readers to first.see Jude in the midst of a storm doing his very dangerous job of harvesting the precious water from the cloud rather than have him used to introduce a whole lot of characters we don't really need to know yet.
I really enjoyed the setting of the novel. Never do the authors come out and state that this is taking place on Earth. There are no references to cities or landmarks we are familiar with, so it almost has a fantasy-novel feel to it. The flesh-eating cloud is clearly the result of some pre-novel apocalypse or environmental catastrophe. The ambiguity of the setting itself lent a tense undercurrent to the story.
The very first scene is one of a dying Demetrius being brought back to life by a dark and possibly malevolent entity summoned by Demetrius' desperate father. Toward the end of the story, Jude himself apparently becomes host to a similar being. Will this become a tale of two young men vying to become the chief villain? Demetrius by the end of the novel has begun to embrace the dark being residing within himself. Will Jude also succumb to this power?
And in between all of that, is a deadly cloud cover that kills and deforms people. Think clouds of acid rain.
Internal strife with the high Prelate and his son is a plot in this story. As well as the story of the hosers and the ships they are on.
This first book sets up all of the conflict that makes up this series. Nice steampunk novel.