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The Kingdom Beyond the Waves (Jackelian #2)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,502 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Professor Amelia Harsh is obsessed with finding the lost civilization of Camlantis, a legendary city from pre-history that is said to have conquered hunger, war, and disease with the creation of the perfect pacifist society.Without official funding, Amelia is forced to accept an offer of patronage from Abraham Quest, the man she blames for her father’s bankruptcy and suici ...more
Paperback, 506 pages
Published May 2010 by CollinsVoyager (first published January 1st 2008)
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52nd out of 97 books — 226 voters
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Community Reviews

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Dan Schwent
Dec 04, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steampunk
Professor Amelia Harsh joins an expedition, funded by Abraham Quest, to find the fabled city of Camlantis. Joining her are Commodore Black and his U-boat, a blind sonar man named Billy Snow, a crazy steamman named Ironflanks, and assorted dregs of society. Meanwhile, Cornelius Fortune, aka Furnace-breath Nick, a demon masked vigilante, stumbles upon what Abraham Quest is really planning...

Two words come to mind when I think about The Kingdom Beyond the Waves: "F@cking" and "Great." All of my pro
May 21, 2014 Sally rated it it was ok
I'm glad I'm through this. It was way too busy for my taste.

Too many concepts (though some very good ones), Too many adjectives, too many metaphors (and many of those shoved in your face), too much superfluous description, too many characters and not enough depth to them to care particularly about their fates and the nomenclature irritated me a great deal.

I'm still looking forward to the third book, which is the one my friend who is loaning me these read first and the one she swears is far bett
Sep 29, 2011 Enoch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I admit it. I read this book because of the its cover. Unfortunately there is no indication on that cover that it is the second in a series (or at least of related books). It read like it too. Don't just start talking about "lashlites" without telling me what they are first. It took me several chapter to discern that the word did not denote a nationality or occupation but a race of sentient, flying lizard-birds. Also, it seems, "shifties" is slang for people from Quatétershift, but Hunt never ca ...more
Oct 22, 2014 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I happen to like steampunk very much. I even read this one knowing it was the second book in a series, but reviewers liked it so much better than the first, I thought: why not? I give author Stephen Hunt kudos for some interesting characters, strange races and machine inventions, but found the book awfully long. Good battles, but the main character professor Amelia Harsh keeps waking up after oft-unexplained trauma. Other things that bothered me were that many of the main characters had prior li ...more
Oct 24, 2009 Brooke rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
The Kingdom Beyond the Waves is an absolute improvement on the first book in Hunt's steampunk series. Gone is the untamed mess of ideas and characters and storylines; in its place is a streamlined, two-pronged adventure that comes together without confusion in the end. It's still ambitious and epic, but in a much more focused, precise way. If you felt like there was much to enjoy in The Court of the Air but that the execution left something to be desired, this book will seem like a reward for gi ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
The Kingdom Beyond the Waves is much more coherent a narrative than The Court of the Air -- I suppose it probably helps that a lot of the world is established already, and that some of the characters and concepts are familiar, but the story does seem to flow better too. Well enough that I think I will read the third book (if my library ever gets it in, anyway) and give Stephen Hunt the benefit of the doubt one more time. The last half of the book was genuinely gripping, though I did pause partwa ...more
Althea Ann
I seemed to remember liking the first book in this series enough to put the sequel on my wishlist. But, upon reading this, I realized that I hardly remembered any details of the previous book (Court of the Air), and I really didn't particularly like this book.
It's action-packed... but rather than being exciting and emotional, events rush by so quickly that they're barely described, and they don't have time to make an impression, let alone an impact. Neither the characters or the settings came to
Jul 30, 2012 Filipa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Eu já devia saber que gosto sempre dos livros que compro na pseudo-Feira do Livro da Ericeira. Este, como é óbvio, não foi diferente. Agarrei nele mal vi que era steampunk, já que andava à procura de um livro desse género em português à bastante tempo, mas essa foi a única parte que me desiludiu no livro: é um steampunk com uma mistura de magia. De resto, adorei-o!

O livro conta a aventura de Amélia na busca pela Camlântida, que na minha cabeça era uma espé
Jan 19, 2012 Forrest rated it liked it
Shelves: cbr4
Stephen Hunt’s sophomore entry into his epic steampunk-fantasy series isn’t an enormous improvement on the first book. He still has trouble focusing in on the characters that really mater and the story doesn’t flow so much as lurch from one fantastical sequence to the next. But the core draw of the series, Hunt’s brilliant and expanding setting, is still there, shining brightly in the mess of plots and characters.

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves focuses primarily on Ameila Harsh, a minor character f
Aug 18, 2010 Lousie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Steampunk-by-numbers. Enjoyable enough, except for the frequent political asides & the conservatively transposed geopolitics. ('Ok, so this part is like England and this part is like France and this part is like Arabia - they have slaves, by the way. And all revolutionaries are bloodthirsty, insane and doomed to failure'.)

There were a few ideas I found striking - the way the winged characters deal with their dead (and the shame of not fulfilling that duty); that one of the scariest defense s
Jan 13, 2010 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Followers of the craze, desirous of more of the same
Recommended to Alan by: Its predecessor
Another sequel which for me, like Gordon Dahlquist's The Dark Volume, did not quite measure up to its predecessor. I would strongly recommend that you read The Court of the Air first if you are going to read this series at all. While only a few characters in this volume are shared with Hunt's earlier book, the milieu is largely left unexplained here, treated as if it's already a known quantity.

Which it may be—which it should be, perhaps, if you have any interest at all in the steampunk craze. As
Daniel Brandon
The writing style puts me in mind more than anyone else of Jack Vance (and his various other literary descendents, such as Matthew Hughes). The world that Hunt has created is weird, and complicated, but has the occasional hint that it might be our world after many eons and some fundamental changes in the universe. Some shades of Michael Moorcock's Hawkwind books as well. This is a good thing.

On the other hand, the colorful world is slightly afflicted with bloat. After reading both this and Hunt'
Feb 13, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
I'm right in the middle of loving this book and thinking it was way to long. I think both are true. There was a lot going on in this one, much of it awesome, but maybe just a bit to much in general. Maybe I'm just a book minimalist, I think you can (and maybe should in most cases) tell a kick ass story in 300 pages.
Casey Hunt
Jan 22, 2011 Casey Hunt rated it liked it
I think it was a pretty good book however the author has a bad habit of killing off characters in a very dishonorable way. To me it left me wondering why these characters were introduced in the first place. I would have also liked to see more hero stories being told from these seemingly overly developed and under-utilized characters.

At the same token, the book is very inventive with respect to an alternate universe. There is absolutely non-stop action however I think there are MANY stories to b
Jan 06, 2015 Shannon rated it liked it
So, turns out this is second in a series/universe, which I was unaware of when I picked it up (and nowhere on the book does it indicate this is the case). That might have helped to know.

In any case, the huge assault of unfamiliar terms and countries and places and things made this a really hard slog for the first third to half of the book. Nowhere did they explain what things actually were, and I spent a lot of time re-reading to try and grasp what was going on. Government systems, political ide
Sep 07, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of the few books I have liked better then the first book the series, I think because it did not get bogged down by any never-ending battle scene, and instead had a smooth and nicely flowing plot throughout.

This read more like a great fantasy/adventure more then a steampunk novel; I think because it focused a little less on the society (especially in light of his first novel which was very society based), but still has an interesting world setting.
Aug 10, 2011 Martha rated it it was amazing
Ah, what to say. I'll leave it simple. So much of the supposed steampunk being churned out right now is dreck. This series is substantive, complex, intelligent, entertaining, action-packed, and challenging. I want to read this again, but only after I go back and read The Court of the Air again. Then I'll start in on the third book.
Nov 22, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This one was also very good. This is not really a sequel; a few of the characters from the last book turn up in this book, but not the main characters. Again, it's a very imaginative world, with extraordinary creatures in it. It makes me wonder why all American science fiction is so similar. Why doesn't anyone here publish anything half as inventive as this?
Feb 23, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
This book, the second in the Jackelian cycle by Stephen Hunt, is silly, pulpy fun. Hunt's stock-in-trade is a kitchen sink mashup of steampunk, Lovecraftian horror, and pulp, with a dash of anything else that he finds interesting thrown in for good measure. Every chapter invariably ends on a cliff-hanger, and if you can count on anything, it's that everyone will double cross everyone else, unless of course the double cross is a fake out, in which case they might still be a secret agent with an u ...more
Michal Marcinkowski
Apr 19, 2009 Michal Marcinkowski rated it it was ok
A fantastic story of a lost civilisation and the people looking for it.
I would say that this book is a combination of "indiana jones" with "2000 leagues under the sea" with lots of inventive and original idéas.
Ricordo di essermi emozionato leggendo il primo volume di questa saga, al punto da decidere, anche se blandamente, di proseguire la sua lettura.

Di questo sequel ho letto da più parti che la scrittura di Hunt è migliorata, e che è un bel passo in avanti rispetto a "The court of the air".

Allora perché mi sono ritrovato a sbadigliare? Ho faticato ad arrivare ai capitoli finali di questo libro, addormentato da una vasta parte centrale che ho superato con difficoltà. Non ne saprei dire il motivo, se
Phil Leader
May 10, 2016 Phil Leader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, amazon
Professor Amelia Harsh is a discredited academic, shunned by any university she could work for because of her obsession for the lost city of Camlantis which is dismissed by most as a myth. When all her other avenues dry up she grabs a lifeline from a rich industrialist to lead an expedition to find the last evidence of the city.

Meanwhile, why is someone graverobbing obsolete steamman corpses from cemetaries? And why has Furnace-breath Nick - scourge of Quatershift - been asked to break a prisone
In Stephen Hunt's The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, archaeologist Amelia Harsh is obsessed with finding the lost civilization of Camlantis, a legendary city from pre-history that is said to have conquered hunger, war, and disease with the creation of the perfect pacifist society, but her superiors in academia think she's a crackpot and refuse to fund her. With no options left, Amelia accepts the patronage of the mega-rich Abraham Quest, who financially ruined her family, which led to her father's su ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Professor Amelia Harsh has lost her tenure at the last university in Jackals that would hire her (after being fired by the other seven...). Why? Because instead of studying and writing papers like a normal university professor, she's out hunting relics of Camlantis, which everyone knows is a myth.

Enter Abraham Quest, the richest man in Jackals, who has been doing his own archaeology on the sly, and found proof that Camlantis exists. Unfortunately, the clues point the way into the heart of darkn
Donna Barth
Jul 03, 2011 Donna Barth rated it it was amazing
After a string of simplistic, happy-go-lucky books, this novel reminded me why I love fantasy. It creates the wonderful feeling that you could really live in that world. The depth is stunning, with a real, varied, and explorable geography, a vividly layered history evident by even the most backhand comments, and some of the most interesting characters ever to grace a page. Every person in this novel has depth, secrets, the dark and the light within them. The villain of the story, though he may s ...more
This is the follow-up to The Court of the Air. Now, I will admit to having read the first novel more than a year ago, but I really could have done with a quick précis as I was left a little bewildered. The Kingdom Beyond the Waves takes up the adventures of some of the secondary characters from The Court of the Air but does not really recap the previous adventures. In such a huge, epically lush and vivid Secondary World, it would have been useful to have a few little sign posts.

However, I did qu
Oct 25, 2012 Derek rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
It again sets off a line of speculation, based on some random hints of changes to the fabric of the world and an unguessed-of prehistory: is this actually some distant future history of Earth? I had started wondering about it during The Court of the Air and still can't come to a conclusion...probably by design.

Hunt's writing is suited to a Burroughsian-style high adventure, and I found myself liking this one over The Court. He still takes every opportunity to fill crevices with all sorts of worl
May 14, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This isn't as fresh as it was when I first read it three years ago, but there have been a lot of books since then - and I've discovered more no-strings fantasy than I knew could exist in the intervening years.

The Kingdom Beyond The Waves is an ideas book, and Hunt's ideas tend towards the intriguing. It's of a better construction than The Court of the Air, but at times it's too familiar: Black's antagonist is of a similar build to his last one; a group gets separated by a virtually identical plo
Apr 15, 2011 Jage rated it did not like it
I'm not sure why, but once I finished with the story I wasn't as satisfied as I thought I'd be. It has a solid story and multiple intertwining threads that seem pointless at first but they do all tie together. You can imagine the world clearly in your mind [well I could] and although things were a bit confusing when it comes to the smaller details I really liked that Artificial Intelligence had their own gods and city state and the like although the countries read more like cities to me then act ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Niall519 rated it really liked it
In need of a prune and rethink of the pacing, but still a heap of fun. Lying somewhere between steam and clockpunk, this was packed to gunwales with cool stuff - reminding me a little of Alan Moore's The League of the Extraordinary Gentleman in its abundance, and also suffering from a similar small triumph of substance over style as a result. I can understand the temptation to just keeping putting in more fun things though - Batman and Scarlet Pumpernickle parodies, Amazons, pirates, cities in t ...more
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Stand alone or definite sequel? 8 28 Apr 14, 2015 04:08AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Stephen Hunt is a British writer living in London. His first fantasy novel, For the Crown and the Dragon, was published in 1994, and introduced a young officer, Taliesin, fighting for the Queen of England in a Napoleonic period alternative reality where the wars of Europe we
More about Stephen Hunt...

Other Books in the Series

Jackelian (6 books)
  • The Court of the Air (Jackelian, #1)
  • The Rise of the Iron Moon (Jackelian, #3)
  • Secrets of the Fire Sea (Jackelian, #4)
  • Jack Cloudie (Jackelian, #5)
  • From the Deep of the Dark (Jackelian, #6)

Share This Book

“There is an ancient saying,' noted Ironflanks, 'originating, I believe, from you fastbloods. The truth will set you free.'
'No, old steamer,' said the commodore. 'In my experience, the truth will get you sent to the bottom of the ocean with an anchor chain wrapped around your legs to buy your silence. But it's the truth I need, all the same.”
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