It’s in the Air

It should give some indication as to how I like Stephen Hunt’s The Court of the Air that I am 240 pages into it and have not yet blogged about it.  The novel immediately grabbed my attention from page one with its fast paced action, dangerous situations, and likable characters.  But after the first hundred pages or so it began to lose me a bit.  The action all but stopped.  More and more characters were introduced with little or no characterization or fleshing out.  Different “steampunk” tropes were dragged out to color the world in which he’s writing with almost no word of explanation.  I understand that a good steampunk story can have some sort of steam-driven machine with some semblance of sentience.  But just because it is a steampunk story doesn’t mean you, as an author, get to just declare there are steam men without exploring the idea somewhat!  Steampunk is not yet an established enough genre to do that!  You need to say why there are steam men, what their place is in society, how they were created, and so on.  And!  And, doesn’t it defeat the mechanical purpose of them to give them both mystical powers and a steam-deity?!?

So, the writing is not bad, but neither is it superb.  The story comes and goes in starts and fits, but just enough to keep me interested.  I hope that the action picks up again with the characters originally introduced, because when he was doing that, it was really, really good, exciting reading.  Right now though it’s fallen into a bit of a predictable fantasy-style adventure: characters being chased by a bad guy, party of NPCs introduced, all with different abilities and desires, running through the world toward some undefinable goal shooting off fireballs behind them to keep their would be captors at bay, all the while being watched by some all seeing organization/deity/machine.  Tired…tired…tired…

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