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Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  4,535 ratings  ·  605 reviews
Sky piracy is a bit out of Darian Frey’s league. Fate has not been kind to the captain of the airship Ketty Jay—or his motley crew. They are all running from something. Crake is a daemonist in hiding, traveling with an armored golem and burdened by guilt. Jez is the new navigator, desperate to keep her secret from the rest of the crew. Malvery is a disgraced doctor, drinki ...more
Kindle Edition, 482 pages
Published June 18th 2009 by Gollancz (first published 2009)
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Abby Yes! The second I picked this book up, I was reminded of the Serenity crew. I think the author must certainly be a Firefly fan. There are so many…moreYes! The second I picked this book up, I was reminded of the Serenity crew. I think the author must certainly be a Firefly fan. There are so many similarities for it not to draw from the show.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya
Sep 03, 2012 Nataliya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi and fantasy buffs
Nataliya Gushes About This Book - Picture Frenzy - More Book Gushing - I Want To Be An Airship Pilot (*)
* Oh, did I mention how much I love Jules Verne-esque chapter titles?


Retribution Falls is a well-crafted steampunk novel that immediately won me over. It is a very entertaining and refreshing read that has everything you want for 400-plus pages of delightful fun. I am serious - I mean, there are airships, sky piracy, GOLD, legendary pirate city, revolvers, adventures, danger, undead, con
...more
Dan 1.0
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
seak
What happens if you combine The Lies of Locke Lamora with air ships, then add some Pirates of the Caribbean? This. This is what happens. Chris Wooding nailed it in Retribution Falls.

I'll get this out of the way. I've been told it's a lot like Firefly. You may have to take away my geek card here ... but I've never seen Firefly. The movie, Serenity, was excellent, but I'm still looking forward to checking out the show. This means I can't confirm or deny the comparison.

I apologize for any non-Fire
...more
Kaitlin
I read this as a buddy read with Mercedes and Brock and I have to say that I read this over a few hours (on just 2 days) and I loved every second! I think there's a bit of a misconception surrounding this book in that it looks and seems like it could be a YA or Children's book because it's shorter than many adult fantasies are, but this is most definitely a solid adult Steampunk book and for one of my first few exposures to Steampunk this book handled that so brilliantly :D

This is the story of T
...more
Chance Maree
Aug 24, 2011 Chance Maree rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Firefly fans, space sci-fi adventure lovers
I'm a Firefly fan who picked up Retribution Falls to feed my nostalgia for good old cowboy/pirate steampunk westerns. I wasn't disappointed, to say the least. I laughed, got misty, and turned pages, completely absorbed in the adventure. The writing is excellent, the characters fleshy and fascinating (except for 2 by my count), and the plot is somewhat classic, yet it delivers startling breezes of fresh air, plenty enough to prohibit yawns. The next book, Black Lung Captain, is now on my to-read ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Retribution Falls took me on a journey where I was continually required to reevaluate everything-- from the story itself, the world in which it takes place, and not the least, the characters. Great worldbuilding, and surprisingly multi-faceted characters who seemed to be archetypes, but proved to be much more. It was complex, intriguing, and ultimately very enjoyable.

Reviewed for Bitten By books. http://bittenbybooks.com.
Carol.
Jun 10, 2011 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol. by: Fantasy Aficionados
Four and a half stars. First read through, have to say it was very good. Probably my favorite steampunk to date, and a fine novel all around. Airships, gunfights, pirates, a golem, daemons... lots of fun ingredients but also fully developed characters. A little bit of the "shades of grey" protagonists; the captain of the airship seems to resemble Captain Jack Sparrow--charming as all get out, but you have the sneaking suspicion he isn't trustworthy. In fact, first couple of incidents we witness ...more
Algernon
Full praise for this book from me. Not so much for some intrinsic or objective artistic value, but for the fun I've had reading it.
The story is probably one we've heard numerous time before. A group of down of their luck misfits and outcasts try to make a living at the edge of the civilized world, playing a game of risk in a dangerous environment and stepping on the wrong side of the law every so often. We already had The Argonauts, some of the Knights of the Round Table, The Elizabethan private
...more
Liviu
Pure fun; and do not be fooled by the pulp-like presentation of the novel with chapters with headings a la Jules Verne, since the novel is thoroughly modern in tone and content, partly ironic, partly serious.

I laughed out loud many, many times, but there is a lot of heartbreak and tragedy.

A crew of misfits led by one Darian Frey who seems to attract the attention of beautiful rich girls once too many for his own good is scrapping a living as airship smugglers and occasional pirates. Kind of bott
...more
J.M.
Wow. I loved RETRIBUTION FALLS. Wooding, my friend, from that unfortunate offering that was STORM THIEF, you are now redeemed! I thank you.

FIREFLY fans, read this. You won't be let down. Highly recommended. Five stars!
Kim
I'd been hearing a lot about this book recently often mentioned in the same breath as sci-fi TV classic Firefly. And there are some similarities between them. A crew of misfits on a flying vessel, outside the law in a world recovering from war. There is a bit of humour and the crew gets in over their heads. But these are similarities with more than just Firefly. And all other similarities end there.

This tale revolved around Captain Frey and his ship, the Ketty Jay, and it's passengers. They aren
...more
Chris
I really enjoyed this, and though I've been seeing great things said about it for a long time, I just now got to it. Well, I'm glad I did. I'm good and thoroughly hooked, and I'll be picking up more books in this series.

Cross The Winds of Khalakovo with Firefly and you might have a basic idea of what to expect. Or not. It's kinda its own thing too.

Recommended.
Richard
7.5/10

A fun, enjoyable romp which is a mix of fantasy, steampunk and action. As I've never seen Firefly I can't say this is like that series (but noticed that comparison in a number of other reviews) but I would class it as a mix of Red Dwarf and Lies of Locke Lamora. A ragtag crew gets given a hot tip on some loot they can easily take from another vessel, a tip that sounds too good to be true. Would you believe it but it's too good to be true, by a long shot.

There were plenty of positives in t
...more
Dawn
I was pretty bored during the entire first third of this. I almost gave it up several times, just because it was taking me so long to dredge through it. I wasn't digging the plot or the characters, I just didn't think the premise was "my thing". Science fiction, sky pirates... Sounded weird to me. But I'm really glad I stuck with it. The characters grew on me, the plot stepped it up, and I got sucked in. Hell, I got so emotionally attached to the characters that I almost teared up in one spot. I ...more
Jokoloyo
This is one fun novel. Combining several popular themes: steampunk, airships, pirates, ragtag team protagonists (my personal fav theme), and forbidden magic.

At first I thought the strength of this novel is in the action scenes, and witty dialogs. But after reaching the mid part, I changed my mind. The strength of this novel is on the character developments in an action-packed story. Not all parts of the story are plot driven, but some story parts are character driven.

I believe many readers will
...more
Jason
Wow so much fun in this steam-punk, sci-fi, western, fantasy. Yes, the characters are nothing new, they are superficial anti-heroes, but they are done very well and I found it easy to like them. Much of this book leaves you wondering more about them, who are they? what was their past? and so on. This is a sci-fi adventure in the vain of "Firefly or Serenity". There is plenty of gunfire, sword fights, bombing, and daemon-ism, top it off with a golem, pirates and some ghosts and wow what fun it is ...more
My Awful Reviews
I have a confession to make. I first started reading this book when it came out in paperback a year and a half ago. I'd made it about 35 pages in when something else caught my interest more strongly, and this book fell by the wayside. After recently finishing Retribution Falls, I'm disappointed that I don't even REMEMBER what took me away from this book. I should have had this review up back in 2009, and I'm sorry that many of you have had to wait until now to hear about this great book.

Retribut
...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
Now this was a fun read! A pirate adventure which reminded me of Firefly. I know you want to read it already!

A word of warning, you will fall in love with Darian Frey, the captain of the Ketty Jay, who is somewhat egoistic, chauvinist and so damn charming. Seriously he uses others for his own purposes, has a way of playing with women and their feelings, and at the same time he is so scared of commitment and disappointing others he doesn't really try.
Throughout the book we learn how he became thi
...more
Kathryn
As far as fans of steampunk should be concerned, they have a champion in Chris Wooding. He understands what a rip-roaring adventure meshed with magic and science, set in a world of pirates and flying ships, should be. He understands that humor is best delivered dry and by scrappy characters just trying to escape their past and carve out a future for themselves, even if they have to resort to thievery and even *gasp!* saving their own skin over the skin of others. All of this understanding makes ...more
⊱ Irena ⊰
First, if you want to read a story of noble heroes then this is not a story for you. This book doesn't have heroes. What it does have is a great and fast story, more than interesting characters and their slow and beautifully done development, so by the time I finished reading, I loved them.

We are introduced to the crew of the Ketty Jey through Jez, a petite and great navigator who is new to the crew. Malvery is introducing them and hers are the first impressions we have of them. Malvery is a hug
...more
Joe
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding is a Steampunk novel set aboard the ship Ketty Jay about the adventures, or possibly misadventures, of it’s ragtag crew. It is the first of four novels in the Tales Of The Ketty Jay series.

The story starts with the crew of the Ketty Jay having the simple job of shooting down a freighter to steal a valuable cargo. Things don’t go to plan and instead the freighter explodes. The captain, Frey, knows it was a setup and the freighter was rigged to blow but unfortuna
...more
Pauline
Dec 19, 2011 Pauline rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: steampunk fans, pirates
After borrowing and returning this book from library four times I finally got around to reading it. How I wish I had read it sooner! I would say that this is my first foray into a steampunk-esqe novel and I absolutely loved it!

This book has a lot of elements which make it fun and hard to put down. There is a slew of very distinctive characters that make up the crew of the Ketty Jay, each with their own struggles and quirks. Gunfights, airships, political intrigue and moral ambiguity all make a
...more
Michael
While sky piracy is not what Darian Frey wants, fate has not been kind to the captain of the Ketty Jay. Along with his crew, Frey finds himself involved in an attack that goes horribly wrong resulting in them being on the run. Hunted by the elite Century Knights and bounty hunters, the airship goes into hiding in the hidden legendary pirate town Retribution Falls but only to discover just how deep this conspiracy runs.

Most of the people would compare this book to the cult classic TV show Firefly
...more
Melanie
In a steampunk-esque world of airships, pirates and daemons, Captain Darian Frey finds himself leading a rag-tag crew of larger-than-life characters on a series of misadventures. Used to stumbling from trouble to trouble, Frey jumps on the chance to make some serious money. Unfortunately, this blows up in his face spectacularly and he finds himself forced into running from...well, pretty much everyone while trying to uncover what exactly is going on.

The only phrase I can think of to properly des
...more
Richard
For me Retribution Falls was the definition of a page turner, I could not put this book down and that is owed largely in thanks to the remarkable job Chris Wooding has done to create such an interesting and vivid world and the searing pace of his twisting plotline.

The story follows Darian Fray, a lecherous, drunken gambler who lives his life from port to port as captain of his airship the Ketty Jay. Earning a living from small time smuggling and other nefarious activities, Fray takes a risky ch
...more
Jacey
I expected to like this a lot and found I mostly liked it, but it didn't quite live up to the expectations from the blurbs on the book jackets which said: "A kind of old-fashioned adventure that I didn't think you were allowed to write anymore" and "The pace is furious, the action s full-screen, the style is sharp and polished..."

Well, mostly the pace is furious and mostly it is an old fashioned adventure and I like it a lot for that, but there are a few elements I'm not too sure about.

But first
...more
Coffcat
I'd heard some good things about this book and was looking forward to reading it. When I saw some of the comments on here about how much it's like Firefly I got a little nervous. I'm a big Firefly fan and I was concerned that it'd either be a cheap knock off OR not live up to expectations. If you compare something to Firefly, by god it better be awesome!

And awesome it definitely is! This book is all over the place in a good way. It's a pirate adventure filled to the brim with the most unusual gr
...more
Gary
Ooh! this has started well! Looking forward to some good old steampunk... Actually 3.5 stars but only because I could have done with less of Frey's soul searching every dozen pages. Overall, a good read with a cast of characters that I could easily read more of and a 'world' backdrop that is imaginative and entertaining. The character Jess has so much potential that I'm using my meagre psychic powers to influence Mr.Wooding to have her play a big role in future books. This is a relatively short ...more
Andris
Sen nebiju lasījis grāmatu līdz pieciem rītā :)
Tāds nedaudz pozitīvi oldskūlīgs gabals. Kā Karību jūras pirāti ar lidojošiem kuģiem. Kapteinis Dorians Frejs stipri atgādināja Kapteini Džeku Zvirbuli. Lieliska salašņu banda, kas grāmatas gaitā kļūst par saliedētu komandu (autors to tik bieži mums uzsver, ka uz beigām jau šķita par daudz).

Līdz piecām zvaigznītēm nedaudz neaizvelk, bet sērijas nākamajām grāmatām ir potenciāls to sasniegt. Noteikti lasīšu tālāk.
Mark
Swashbuckling steampunk fun. Maybe steampunk is not the exact right description for it, because I don't think the ships are powered by steam, but it had that kind of feel to me. Another way to put it might be if Firefly was confined to one planet, rather than outer space, or perhaps if Pirates of the Caribbean (the movie) was expanded to the air. There is a lot of all of these things in Retribution Falls, a story about one misfit ship and its misfit crew as they get in trouble and try to get out ...more
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81096
Chris Wooding grew up in a small town in Leicestershire, where not much of anything happened. So he started to write novels. He was sixteen when he completed his first. He had an agent by eighteen. By nineteen he had signed his first book deal. When he left university he began to write full-time, and he has been doing it professionally all his adult life.

Now thirty-two, Chris has written sixteen b
...more
More about Chris Wooding...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of the Ketty Jay (4 books)
  • The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #2)
  • The Iron Jackal (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #3)
  • The Ace Of Skulls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #4)
Poison The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #2) Malice (Malice, #1) Storm Thief

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“Ain't no deserving, or otherwise,' Silo said, his bass voice rolling out from deep in his chest. 'There's what is, and what ain't, and there's what you do about it. Regret's just a way to make you feel okay when you're not making amends. A man can waste a life with regrets.” 8 likes
“Ladies, gentlemen, we're out of here! Your boss is upstairs, and only mildly wounded. Go help him if you have the inclination. You'll also notice the house is on fire. Make of that what you like.” 7 likes
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