by Richard Ellis Preston Jr.
Book Description: Earth is an icy wasteland, devastated by an alien invasion hundreds of years before. Left with only steam power, the human survivors have formed into steampunk clans. And now these clans are at war.
Reeling from a Founders clan invasion, Captain Romulus Buckle of the Pneumatic Zeppelinfaces a desperate decision. Does he return home to bolster the Grand Alliance or attempt to rescue his sister, Elizabeth, who is prophesied to be the key to winning the war? With only an ancient automaton and the words of a madman to guide him, Buckle leads an expedition to the mysterious underwater city of Atlantis, where mythical monsters and human treachery make every move perilous.
My Review: The Luminiferous Aether picks up where The Engines of War left off. This book takes Buckle and company to Atlantis and it’s not as far out there as you may imagine. The author does a fantastic job of making the idea of Atlantis existing in Snow World appear to be normal.
There is plenty of action and when there isn’t, the characters are still in danger. Atlantis is full of political intrigue. I felt for Buckle. He isn’t on the Pneumatic Zeppelin for this book and you can feel his discomfort. You can tell that Buckle and company are uncomfortable being away from the ship. The fact that they aren’t on the Pneumatic Zeppelin doesn’t mean that Buckle doesn’t find extra trouble to get into however. What I mean by that is, on top of everything else that is going on with the Founders war, he is determined to find Elizabeth.
Speaking of sisters, there are several chapters in this book devoted to Max and her journey. She is quickly becoming my favorite character. I admire her strength and determination. A touching scene between Max and Balthazar illustrates my favorite thing about these books. There is real love between this makeshift family; between Balthazar and all of his adopted children.. The scene made me tear up. It was fantastic. I would probably go so far as to say that the chapters about Max were my favorite in this book. They were a nice contrast to the ones involving Buckle with his cacophony of dangers and general mayhem. That doesn’t mean that they were boring, they were simply smaller in scope since they involved a much smaller number of characters.
Another interesting thing about this book is that we find out why things are the way they are in the Snow World. We already knew that there had been an attack but now we learn how society was rebuilt in the image of the Victorian era. It’s genius.
I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone who has read the first two. It is a fantastic addition to the series.
Feature Background Image: Mountain by Unsplash