If you want to follow (and grow to love) a group of misfit aero-pirates as they face off against a conspiracy in 453 pages of action-soaked and amusing hi-jinx, then this is the very book you are looking for.
Frey is a down and out smuggler and part-time pirate in a fantasy world where the common mode of transportation is air ships filled with aerium. He has manned his ship, The Ketty Jay, with a motley crew of refugees and misfits. When, the crew of The Ketty Jay is set up to take the fall in a deadly conspiracy, the members will be tested at every turn and find out if they have the mettle to survive as well as the ability to put up with each other. This book is so full of harrowing moments and vivid characters that anyone looking for a good escape should jump aboard this ship.
The book starts out wonderfully, and Chris Wooding's deft characterization draws you in, as well as his ability to throw you into the middle of the action. After muddling through the first hundred or pages or so, you will find yourself hooked and rooting for the oddest group of misfits to ever take to the air. By the end, if you are like me, you will be touched by the story of the crew of the Ketty Jay and want more. Thankfully, I see that Mr. Wooding has given us at least one more volume, with a promise toward the end of at least a trilogy. I for one will gleefully jump on board the Ketty Jay and say hello again to the characters that by the end of the book, will feel like old lost chums.
If you loved Firefly and Serenity and appreciated Pirates of the Caribbean, if you loved the atmosphere of Stevenson's Treasure Island, but desire a dash of steampunk and helping of gothic fantasy, you will love Retribution Falls. I did.