Aeronaut’s Windlass (Cinder Spires #1), by Jim Butcher

3.5 world building stars!

Aeronaut's Windlass

I loved Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series so this author was an auto buy for me.

There was a ton of world building in this book. I think that and the way the characters conversed took a while to get into.The synopsis says it follows Captain Grimm story  but this book is so much more than that. There are tons of characters to learn and navigate through. Different customs between each group also. This is why I gave it a 3.5 I’m sure that Mr. Butcher is setting you up for the future books in this series but it was just a lot to follow in the first one. It’s listed as steam punk and this is only the third steampunk book I have read. There are flying ships and as a person who has never been on a ship it was a little confusing. Especially since some of the items they used aren’t real.

Let’s talk about Captain Grimm first, I honestly don’t feel like I got to know him well enough in this book. He loves his ship and his men. He was wrongly judged in his past, which you see the characters who meet him start out by judging him the same way. Then by the end of the book you know he is a good guy. (sorry spoiler, not spoiler..)

Next we have Gwen of the high and mighty Lancasters. Gwen while a very tough chick in this book comes off very naive. She thinks because of her “ranking” in society that she can look down on other people. I will say this character got on my nerves. I understand the reasoning behind making her character like this but if things don’t change in future books she may be the character I hope Jim Butcher kills off…

Ah Bridget.. she joins the service because it is required of her. She has never left her father’s vattery (did I do that right?) Anyways she has never left her “common” area behind. At first she comes off as a timid mouse, however later on you realize she is quite a strong and brave character. I love how she just speaks her mind when needed, which also gets her into some trouble in the beginning of the book. She has a little partner in crime and anyone who knows Jim Butcher could’ve probably of guessed her partner is a cat. Yup the cats have their own language that Bridget can understand and there are rulers in the cat kingdom. Her cat Rowel or as Rowel would say his human Bridget. I found the cats being able to talk and thinking they were above all humans hilarious. Honestly I feel like my cat says to me daily “feed me stupid human” and guess what I do! The cats rule and humans drool in this book. Also the cats are awesome fighters!!

Benedict is cousin to Gwen but nothing like her. He is warrior born so he is kind of even looked down upon by his family. From the gist I got of warriorborns are humans mixed with some sort of creature blood. ie. cat, spider, etc. They look completely human except they seem to move more like what animal they are linked to. Oh and Benedict has cat like eyes. I really enjoyed Benedict and how he just shook his head at Gwen being so naive. I loved how protective he is of Bridget even though she more than proves she can take care of herself. I look forward to reading more about Benedict in the future.

Folly is an etheralist (I really should’ve flagged the pages on how to spell this stuff hah!) They can kind of see the future is what I gathered. She can also move things with her mind after she is trained. She is such a well thought out corky character. I enjoyed reading her parts in the book. Once Bridget figured out how to talk with Folly I enjoyed it even more.

The Cinder Spires are under attack by Aurorans and it’s up to this motley crew to save them all.  That is really the whole synopsis in one sentence. While I did enjoy the book after I got the hang of everyone and everything I really wish there was a little more detail throughout so I could thoroughly see what the characters were seeing instead of guessing at some and learning half.

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