Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review ~ The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis


Title: The Guns Above
Author: Robyn Bennis
Genre: steampunk
Pages: 352
Series: yes
1. The Guns Above (Signal Airship #1)

Synopsis 


The nation of Garnia has been at war for as long as Auxiliary Lieutenant Josette Dupris can remember – this time against neighboring Vinzhalia. Garnia’s Air Signal Corp stands out as the favored martial child of the King. But though it’s co-ed, women on-board are only allowed “auxiliary” crew positions and are banned from combat. In extenuating circumstances, Josette saves her airship in the heat of battle. She is rewarded with the Mistral, becoming Garnia’s first female captain.

She wants the job – just not the political flak attached. On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat – a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He’s also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision. When the Vins make an unprecedented military move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself to the top brass?

Thoughts
This book has been a very pleasant surprise. The kind of surprise that you start at 9 at night to settle down and then don't put down until 2 am after finishing it. Josette is refreshing to say the least. She is tough as nails due to her climbing literally by accident to the top and yet having to maintain this position and earn respect in a man's world. Yet we get to gain insight and glimpses into her thoughts and vulnerability. She knows what is riding on this and is clever enough to understand that Bernat is not a friend.
Bernat is someone that you start off wanting to strangle. I found myself at times wondering why Josette saved him and yet as the book continued on so did Bernat's ability to grow. It started making me see him in a different light which is also refreshing. I love when characters can grow and mature. I also enjoy a character that grows and matures yet remains true to the original tone.
The story itself is about air ships that are blimps so STEAMPUNK you guys!! It is awesome to listen to as they fix things, fly things and work through issues that arise from that alone. The author has made cultures and religions, a world with a conflict regarding this, and a society of different ideas. Yet at the same time I found myself going huh "I've dealt with that". That fact alone made me relate to Josette on a level that normally would never happen. I really found myself enjoying this book and can't wait for book 2!

Grade: 5 out of 5
Would I Recommend: YES!

Where To buy

Praise for THE GUNS ABOVE

“Steampunky navy-in-the-air military tale full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” ―Patricia Briggs

“The Guns Above is a sharp, witty Ruritanian adventure full of flintlock rifles, plumed shakos, brass buttons... and airships! Taking place in an alternate mid-nineteenth-century Europe where dirigibles ply the smoky air over battlefields and women have been grudgingly admitted to the air corps,The Guns Above takes a clear-eyed, even cynical view of the 'glories' of war, complete with blood, shit, shattered limbs, and petty squabbles among the nobility. The aerial combat is gut-clenchingly realistic, the two viewpoint characters are well-drawn and as different as can be, and the action never stops. Hard women learn compassion, soft men learn bravery, and the fate of a nation depends on one rickety airship and its stalwart crew. A winner!”―David D. Levine, author of Arabella of Mars

“An engaging gunpowder adventure with a helping of witty Noel Coward dialogue and a touch of Joseph Heller.” ―Tina Connolly, Nebula Award-nominated author of Ironskin

“Wonderfully adventurous and laudably detailed. Bennis paints airship battles so clearly you'd swear they were from memory.” ―Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

“Buckle in. The crew of the Mistral will take readers on adventures they won’t soon forget.” ―Pip Ballantine, author of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

“Hold on to your goggles, Bennis' The Guns Above is a nonstop ride.” ―Suzanne Lazear, author of The Aether Chronicles Series

“A fast-paced military fantasy, full of colourful characters and quirky humour that had me laughing throughout. Every fan of airships should read this.” ―Marc Turner, author of Dragon Hunters

“Bennis writes a pleasing mix of banter and gritty battle scenes, combining both the adrenaline rush of combat and its horrifying results, and never indulging in too-sudden social victories that might cheapen the longstruggle against embedded prejudice.”― Publishers Weekly


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robyn Bennis is a scientist living in Mountain View, California, where she works in biotech but dreams of airships. She has done research and development involving human gene expression, neural connectomics, cancer diagnostics, rapid flu testing, gene synthesis, genome sequencing, being so preoccupied with whether she could that she never stopped to think if she should, and systems integration.

Her apartment is within sight of Hangar One at Moffett Airfield, which was once the West Coast home to one of America's largest airships, the USS Macon.

Her debut novel, The Guns Above, comes out in May 2017.

Photo Content from Robyn Bennis


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