Hardback Book Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass

Title: The Aeronaut’s Windlass
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Book 1
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
Page Count: 630
Publisher: Tor
Rated: 4.5/5 stars!

I read the A. Windless book in two and a half days, because I wanted the story to linger so it took a little longer to finish. Jim Butcher proceeds to be one of my most favorite fantasy authors in the fantasy genre! While this was a completely different world from that of Dresden Files, not to mention his other fantasy series that is underrated (in my opinion) the Furies series {look up name of series}, this one is still very “Jim Butcher” in that it’s unique, got loads of characters I adore, and has lots of drama, talking cats!, and airships.
This book starts off with a duel between a girl (a very ‘large’ girl!) and a guy that’s an entitled a**. It progresses to include talking cats, friendships that you didn’t see coming, enemies that you want to kill just because they’re that evil. The airship kinda makes me think of a blend between Firefly and Enterprise, especially in regards to the crew. Whether Jim Butcher made Journeyman out to be like Scotty of the engineering department, I don’t know. But that’s how I saw him as.
Gwen, Benedict, Rowl, Captain Grimm (or, in the cat’s terms Captain Tall Trees), and Littlemouse…I adored the entire cast. The bad guys were appropriately bad, and the good guys were awesome to the point that I couldn’t begin to decide who was my favorite. At first I thought it was Gwen, then I changed my mind to Benedict, then to Rowl, then to…well, you get the idea. There is quite the cast of characters in this book, that almost makes up having to read 630 pages! That’s a fair bit of reading to be done, and while I’m a fast reader, there’s a lot going on in this here monster of a book. Jim Butcher’s descriptions of airships in general is extensive. How one would fix engines so that they would go faster. How wood is so expensive for repairs. How the crew would mutiny if fed terrible food made by the Captain again. (I loved that scene.)
And then there’s Littlemouse, who has a cat! Or rather, the cat has her. Littlemouse, being not so little either. She was a brave, strong, true friend to all, especially to Folly and Gwen. And how could I have forgotten to mention Folly earlier? She is one of my real favorites! For some reason, I lean most towards the maddest character driven people in fantasy novels. Who knew? Then there’s her old Master Farus. He reminded me a lot of the old man in the Dragonlance series. What was his name? The old man who liked flinging fireballs…I have a very strong feeling that he and Master Farus would get a long splendidly. Those two would make for a dangerous combination.
Then there are the ships themselves. Captain Grimm’s Predator was my personal favorite, but I liked the ship names-the Itasca! The Valiant! The Thunderous! So many strong ship names!
I could blather on and on about this book, of which I didn’t think I would love nearly as much as I did by the end of it. My only real complaint was that ending. Jim Butcher, you stole my heart with this book, and I need another, please. I especially want more stories about cats coming in to save the day!
There were some mysteries-more than some, I think-left by the end of the book, though I can see why the author left it off as he did. At 630 pages, its a monster of a book, and there is still a large amount of the story to be resolved. The Enemy may have gotten away, and the Predator may need to be repaired (again) and they may have lost a large number of people throughout the book…
But at the end of it all, this was a truly unique, originally, heart in your throat read.
My hat goes off to you, Jim Butcher.
If by some chance you happen to see this review, I do hope you like it. A friend of mine insisted that I didn’t need to write a ten page review of the book, much though I wanted to.
So cheers,
Pass Me That Book!

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