M’lady’s name is Shadowless, cos she’s the fastest ship in the sky. And she ain’t no everyday airship, she’s an aethership, meaning she don’t need engines nor turbines nor nowt but an aethermancer and the stars t’ guide her.
When luckless Dil falls half-dead onto the deck of the skyship Shadowless, he joins an outlaw crew haunted by visions of maelstrom. Driven by a ruthless captain, guided by a pilot with madness in her eyes, they hunt the power that holds up the clouds. Until it turns – to hunt them
Prosperity was my first introduction to Steam Punk and I haven’t found any other I like as much as this story. The world building by Alexis Hall is superb. The mastery of it is that the story uses slang and dialects, easily understood because the context makes it easy to deduce the intended meaning. I do recognise some of them but they are so old I doubt many people use them nowadays (at least not where I live).
The story is set in a kind of frontier mining town where characters are as large as life such as gapped tooth Alice, M’lord and the hero Piccadilly (Dill). My heart is with Piccadilly. He is a bit of an Artful Dodger character, looking for a place to belong. They are on a grand adventure going into danger to mine phlogiston from the sky but are unaware that M’lord got the sky claim in an underhanded way. There is danger from Pirates and they must beware of the Kraken, tentacled monsters of the sky. The pace and exciting battles made me stop just to listen soaking it all in. This is not a romance more an adventure with relationships included.
Nicolas Boulton’s narration is excellent. The accents he uses and feeling he puts into the story make it stand out. Terrific narration turns a good story great and a great story excellent. It enables you to drift into their world and escape for awhile.
Piccadilly describes Ruben’s voice as “like velvet and kisses” and this sums up how I feel about Nicholas Boulton’s narration.
6 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review