Note: A free review copy was provided by Hazardous Press and author, Katherine McIntyre.
Ever since their last botched smuggling job, First Mate Bea and the crew of her airship can barely afford fuel, let alone a barrel of grog. So, when a gentleman from Old Germany offers them a fortune to steal a locked box from a British merchant airship, they jump at the opportunity. Somehow, though, their employer forgot to mention the box's military escort, and the Morlock mercenaries who would kill to get their hands on it. Oh, and that if made public, the contents could engulf Europe in another devastating war.
Stealing the box was the easy part. Now, with a target on their back, and some of the toughest characters in the sky after them, they have to find a way to survive. If the crew of the Desire don't polish their pistols and prepare for a hell of a fight, they'll end up worse than grounded. After all, everyone from the Brits to the Morlocks will kill for the contents of that box, and no one survives an airship crash.
What I liked about it:
-An Airship named Desire is a fast-paced, exciting read.
-There are a few plot twists that I didn't see coming, which kept me on my toes while I was reading.
-The descriptions of the world were very interesting and unique. It almost had a gritty, dieselpunk feel to it.
-I loved the concept of an airship full of strays with bad pasts.
What I didn't like about it:
-The writing was good in places, and awkward in others. The word I is used too often. And the overuse of similes becomes slightly jarring for the reader, when another simple description word would suffice. While still on the subject of similes, some of them just came off as downright strange or confusing:
“My new position of Captain weighed down like the keys to a broken down opium shack.”
This may have made sense to the author, but as a reader it made me stop to scratch my head.
“My words rolled out smoother than a steam engine.”
This made me stop reading and think about it. Do steam engines really run smoothly? Maybe I’m overly analytical, but again, it pulled me out of the story momentarily while I considered it.
“A woman with more petticoats than fingers tossed the occasional glare our way.”
This isn't a simile, but it struck me as an odd thing to compare petticoats to, so I included it.
-I thought that Bea was a very interesting character, as were the rest of her companions, and I really would have liked to see some more character development. For instance, there were a few parts where Bea doesn't want to look at herself in the mirror, and I was really interested in that. I thought maybe it had something to do with her past. However, nothing really develops with this.
If you’re looking for airship adventure, pirates, gun fights and non-stop action, this book is for you. An Airship Named Desire is a fast-paced steampunk adventure story that keeps you guessing about the Macguffin the entire time. This is recommended steampunk reading.
4 out of 8 wiggly octopus legs.