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Skies of Fire: The Ether Chronicles Mass Market Paperback – April 17, 2012
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Archer missed some huge possibilities with the action section, too. The hero, Christopher, is a Man O'War. Archer goes into great detail about the torture it takes to become a Man O'War and the dangers of Christopher being separated from the ship for too long. But, instead of using that in her plot, Archer has everything go as planned. While on the ship, Louisa and Christopher come up with a plan and they follow it. The end. It definitely felt formulaic. There were no twists, turns, or surprises.
The next book in the series is written by Archer's husband. I am interested in seeing how he writes. Before I had started this book, I bought the rest of the series. I'm hoping it gets better.
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.
I am intrigued by the alternate historical worlds of steampunk and, since I am a die hard romance reader, if there is a romance too it's all the better. That said, Skies of Fire didn't really fire me up. Don't get me wrong there were definitely some exciting parts of the story, the mission to the munitions plant was action packed, but neither of the leads really caught me for some reaason. I am exceedingly hero-centric and the uber strong, ultra capable, honorable captain with the cracks in his heart from the woman he can't forget should have reeled me in, but didn't somehow.
So the bottom line on this one is that, for me, this was a mixed read that had steamy stuff but just didn't capture my heart. And wierd as this may seem, since short stories almost always leave me wanting more, this story was almost too long in the setup. Consequently, Skies of Fire ended up being on the okay side of 'I liked it' even though I've liked other things written by Archer - her Blades of the Rose series for instance - but I do like steampunk so I may give the second book a try - it is Rosso's turn in the author role and his story is set in the Old (steampunk) West .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would never have thought I'd be so interested in 19th-century steampunk romance. Get characters and story line! I enjoyed the tension between Kit and Lulu.Published 5 months ago by Nikki D. Caravella
A wonderful steampunk series full of airships and their dashing captains. And the heroines are just as superb, smart women with talents of their own, and to whom we can relate and... Read morePublished 23 months ago by LadyLoves2Read
This book was boring. I was excited to find a new series and i was disappointed. The story just seemed like it was missing somethinf.Published on September 21, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Another great steampunk novel. I hope she continues with the series. I would highly recommend this for anyone that likes steampunk.Published on September 19, 2013 by herbalist
I enjoyed this book WAY more than I expected. I struggled with whether to give it 4 of 5 stars--really this one came in at like a 4. Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by JLL
The thing about the possibility of how the world as we know it could have been, with the early discovery of a couple of elements, the unfettered imagination, intelligence, and... Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by Eugene
another book by zoe archer it was great i work nights and need something to keep me alert and going it was great.. she is becoming a favorite aurtherPublished on February 27, 2013 by Barbara A. Reed
My Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Our action-filled story starts with our brave Man O'War Captain, Christopher, and his ship, Demeter, waged in a sky... Read more
Too short not complete. Not up to par. Brush on story line. Okay for a short story. Flash backs was not good for story line. I wasnt impress with story.Published on August 26, 2012 by Amazon Customer