The second steampunk novel I’ve read this year and I was NOT disappointed.
The plot: In Robyn Bennis’ The Guns Above, Josette Dupre, our badass protagonist has been made the Corps’ first female airship captain, after she turned the tide against the enemy in a battle.
For Josette, it means a death sentence but a happy one because she finally gets to live her dreams as captain of an airship, but she is also aware of how far some would go to overthrow her. Like Lord Bernat, who was set up by his Uncle to find and record all the negatives of Josette, so that Bernat can get his money and the Uncle would get to see Josette fall.
Imagine our history, but with Steampunk. While it is a made up world, that’s what it reminded me of because of the sexism. And oh Lord! The sexism was so intense. I’m pretty sure that’s how bad it used to be in our world too, but the book treats it very lightly by using humour along with it but it also keeps coming back to the issue over and over again which made me doubt the real message behind the book.
And while the book is Steampunk, it has no magic in it. It reads very much like a military historical fiction with lots of witty banter.
The characters reminded me of the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean mainly because of their witty banter. But note that Josette and her crew are anything but pirates.
In the beginning, I didn’t enjoy the book as much and it took me a while to realize that it was because I wasn’t feeling that bond readers usually feel with characters. This was probably because of the epic airship battles, airship descriptions and airship repairs that constantly took place.
Yeah, there’s a LOT of airship info in this one, something that I enjoyed immensely. The airship battles had to be my favourite though. The suspense of an oncoming attack, the total chaos aboard the ship, the captain screaming orders, the small and major victories, just the way everything was written was beautiful. And once the friendship between Josette and Bernat grew, I was head over heels in love with the book.
And this book actually made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions, something that doesn’t happen often.
Here are a few excerpts:
These are just a few of the many instances where the humour was just fabulous.
I would definitely recommend this book to Steampunk lovers, military fiction lovers and also people who just want an engaging and funny read.
Lots of love,