I re-posted my review for The City of the Founders on Monday. I re-posted my review for The Engines of War today. Guess what I’m posting on Friday? Answer: Romulus Buckle and the Luminiferous Aether came out in December.
Originally posted Mar 2014
Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War
by Richard Ellis Preston Jr.
Book Description: The frozen wasteland of Snow World—known as Southern California before an alien invasion decimated civilization—is home to warring steampunk clans. Crankshafts, Imperials, Tinskins, Brineboilers, and many more all battle one another for precious supplies, against ravenous mutant beasts for basic survival, and with the mysterious Founders for their very freedom.
Through this ruined world soars the Pneumatic Zeppelin, captained by the daring Romulus Buckle. In the wake of a nearly suicidal assault on the Founders’ prison city to rescue key military leaders, both the steam-powered airship and its crew are bruised and battered. Yet there’s little time for rest or repairs: Founders raids threaten to shatter the fragile alliance Buckle has risked everything to forge among the clans.
Even as he musters what seems a futile defense in the face of inevitable war, Buckle learns that the most mysterious clan of all is holding his long-lost sister in a secret base—and that she holds the ultimate key to victory over the Founders. But rescuing her means abandoning his allies and praying they survive long enough for there to be an alliance to return to.
This installment is action packed. It doesn’t stop for even one second. It opens with Buckle looking for the remains of an airship that went down during the attack on the Devil’s Punchbowl (his home). He rides up a mountain with an insane guide-in the freezing cold-without Sabrina, Max, or anyone else for back up. I expect nothing less from our hero. Max follows him anyway, and I would expect nothing less from her.
It wouldn’t be a Romulus Buckle adventure if there weren’t beasties so of course Max has to save him and then he has to save her. The thing I love most about these books is that Buckle needs his family. He doesn’t always know it and he tries to keep them safe, but he needs them as much as they need him. I also love that he has an aura of invincibility. It makes it fun to read about the good captain.
The action in this book is breathtaking. There are out of control animals on the ground and in the air, a ball (the dancing kind), a duel, and even an airship battle. And Buckle tries get himself blown up again. There is also a touching scene with Imperial leader Katzenjammer Smelt and his children. It’s an important scene because it gives him some badly needed humanity. I hated him in the first book.
I’ve become a fan of the audiobooks as well. They are both read by Luke Daniels who does a wonderful job. If you love adventure of any kind then you’ll love this book.
Background Image: Finland-Snow by Trespa