The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher


First Book of the Year!


I have been looking forward to this book since it was announced. I love the whole steampunk aesthetic and I love the idea of airships.  The idea of the book is that society has moved off the planet and now lives completely up in “spires” which are gigantic towers made of stone. People use airships to travel up and down the spires (and also travel to other spires), with the richest and most well off at the top and the poorest closest to the ground. Captain Grimm is one such captain of an airship named Predator and when he has a run-in with a bigger ship that leaves him grounded on Spire Albion waiting for repairs, the Spire is attacked by another,Spire Aurora. Thus starts WAR! Captain Grimm and a band of allies are charged with finding out where a conspiracy starts (and who is involved). Unbeknownst to everyone an old evil is maneuvering and pulling the strings on its puppets for mysterious purposes.

Jim Butcher is one of my favorite authors and he doesn’t disappoint here. As is usual for him, his world-building is top notch and I found most of the characters to be fun and interesting. The only character I didn’t care for was Gwen. She was insufferable throughout the entire book and her slight shift at the end was a bit too little, too late. Captain Grimm was probably my favorite character in the novel. He had an interesting backstory and I loved the level of loyalty he inspired in others.

My second favorite character is Rowl. Who doesn’t love a talking cat? He is funny and his chapters are among my favorites in the book. His “voice” is exactly how I would picture my cat talking to me if she could. In fact the whole Cat society is fantastically written and really unique and interesting.

The naval airships with their awesome battles in the mists were the highlight of the book for me. They were very well written. I’ve read other books with airship battles that left me confused and ultimately cold to the story as a whole, but these were thrilling and fast-paced.

Butcher also has a great way of making things very tense and exciting that I really like.

I found this book to be a fast read and I am really looking forward to the next book and the rest of the series.