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Jack Cloudie (Jackelian #5)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  319 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Thanks to his father's gambling debts, young Jack Keats finds himself on the streets and trying to survive as a pickpocket, desperate to graft enough coins to keep him and his two younger brothers fed. Following a daring bank robbery gone badly awry, Jack narrowly escapes the scaffold, only to be pressed into Royal Aerostatical Navy.
Paperback, 412 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers
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(showing 1-30 of 939)
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Dan Schwent
War brews between the Kingdom of Jackals and Cassarabia. A young thief named Jack Keats is pressed into service on an experimental airship, the Iron Patridge after a botched bank job. A Cassarabian slave named Omar learns of his true parentage, only to have it stolen from him. As Jack and Omar learn what it means to be men, will war be averted or will the two world powers engage in a conflict that will destroy them both?

Jack Cloudie fleshes out two aspects of Stephen Hunt's Jackalian saga that h
Foz Meadows
Feb 22, 2012 Foz Meadows rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Florin Pitea
Oct 02, 2015 Florin Pitea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good plotting, excellent pacing, fine twists and an unforgettable denouement. Very well done, Mr. Stephen Hunt!
Sep 03, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
This is the 5th adventure set in the Jackelian series. After reading the 1st book in the series,The Court of the Air, I became addicted and bought all of them. They continued to get better with each book. However, I don't think i feel the same about this one.

It's a great read, but I have a couple complaints. Well, one main complaint. Gone are the concurrently running multiple storylines that I so loved. There are only 2 storylines in this story. That is most likely a plus for many readers, but
Aug 16, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to his father’s gambling debts, young Jack Keats finds himself on the streets trying to graft enough coin to keep him and his two younger brothers fed.

When a daring bank robbery goes awry, Jack narrowly escapes the scaffold on to be pressed into the Royal Aerostatical Navy. Assigned to the most useless airship in the fleet, serving under a captain who’s is most probably mad, Jack seems to be bound for almost certain death in the far-away deserts of Cassarabia.

Meanwhile on the other side
Mike Sullivan
Jun 29, 2014 Mike Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it...first time I've read steampunk fiction...found the concept fascinating...that of a strange union of 2 worlds, one a pseudo Victorian type world (Jackelian) and a 1,001 Arabian Nights world (Cassarabia). The book involves a plot about 2 main characters centered around an airship called the Iron Partridge. One world relies upon scientific mechanics and the other relies upon genetical manipulation. The plot itself revolves around an evil vizier with a hidden background and that in itse ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hunt manages to deliver a good solid story set in his familiar world of Jackals and Cassarabia. While not as massively inventive as his first 2 or 3 books he still delivers a very enjoyable read with mainly new characters.
Swagmaster Rossini
The story begins with Jack Keats, a penniless youth forced to live on the streets as a pickpocket as he struggles each day to keep survive and keep young brothers alive. After a bank robbery attempt by him and his group of outcasts goes horribly wrong, Jack is accused of leading the break-in (which he does not do) and is sentenced to join the Royal Aerostatical Navy, a military group that pilots a fleet of futuristic airships used for war. What I found both intriguing and somewhat annoying was ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great world building, sympathetic characters, nonstop action, and airships. What's not to love?
Mar 11, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Three things annoyed me about this book. The first, which the editor really should have caught, is that Hunt consistently writes "chord" when he means "cord". (There are a few other incorrect homonyms as well, but that one occurs repeatedly.)

The second is that he seems to think that when writing steampunk it's necessary to throw in the words "crystal", "clockwork", "steam" and "punch cards" more or less at random, even when they make no particular technological sense.

The third is the treatment
Foz Meadows
Dec 24, 2012 Foz Meadows rated it did not like it
** spoiler alert ** I read the first Jackelian book, The Court of the Air, on my honeymoon, and ever since then I've been a Stephen Hunt fan. Each new book has been better than the last, and when I saw that Jack Cloudie was following on the heels of Secrets of the Fire Sea, I was delighted.

And then I read it, and everything fell apart.

I am so disappointed and furious, it actually hurts. I've really loved Hunt's other works, and when he spoke out against the anti-SFF prejudice in the BBC's covera
Marc Jentzsch
Oct 03, 2013 Marc Jentzsch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, pulp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2013 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 5 of the Jackelian series.

Jack Keats is an orphan, living on the streets, his younger brothers struggling in the workhouse because if their father's gambling debts. But a robbery gone wrong leads to a narrow escape of execution, into the Royal Aerostatical Navy, which is heading to war with Cassarabia, so he might end up dead anyway.

Omar ibn Barir is a slave of a water merchant, but when his master is declared heretic, the whole sect is killed, Omar narrowly escaping. He's pressed into serv
Henry Lazarus
Stephen Hunter has a series set in a strange world with air-ships, steam driven computers powerful enough to a achieve intelligence in the form of metal men. There’s also powerful genetic engineering. Each book in the series shares only a secondary character so they can be read independently. Jack Cloudie (hard from Tor) is a young man’s adventure full of excitment and near death experiences. Oman is a slave working in a desalination plant in the hot Cassarabian Empire, not knowing he is the sec ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth book in Stephen Hunt's Jackelian series (named after country from which many of the protagonists in the series hail; it's obviously an analogue to 18th-19th Century Britain). I've read and enjoyed the previous four volumes and I really liked this one as well. One of the things I really appreciate is that while the books share a setting and occasional characters, they're all very different in terms of the stories they're telling -- sometimes more like an H. Rider Haggard adventu ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It seems that the odd numbered novels (except for #1 which I liked but #2 and #4 were still better) in the series are misses for me; I cannot pinpoint why this one did not work that well, but some of the elements were the lack of female main leads, the stereotype Cassarabian setting, the domination of pulp elements and overall a complete lack of interest in what happened. No real sense of wonder or of mystery like in Waves or Fire Sea (those two are still huge favorites and among the best sff of ...more
Lisa Mertens
I've read other books in this series and loved 'em. I deliberately left a gap of a few months before reading this one, so I wouldn't be "over it".

Unfortunately I was over it though. I read about a third of the way through, then the last chapter, and skipped the middle. There is a formula to these books, and it's starting to be very apparent.

Maybe I should only read one a year?
Oct 19, 2014 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another convoluted, rousing adventure by Stephen Hunt. He blends the threads of imagination with great skill taking your through the adventures of two young men from different cultures until they meet- both seeking to live and find they way in a time of war between opposing cultures.
Chris Warren
I enjoyed Jack Keats story and some of the air to air battling taking place, this book simply doesn't keep pace with Court of the Air or Secrets of the Fire Sea.

Same amazing world. I thoroughly enjoy Hunt's psuedo steampunk victorinox rose colored lenses.
Nov 25, 2014 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
I think the overarching story was nice, but the writing felt rushed and somewhat clunky. I felt it should have been longer and gone into more depth in areas, where it just glazed. For a quick read it wasn't bad, but it definitely would have benefited from more depth.
Jan 02, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, steampunk
I made it, according to my e-reader, 80% of the way through this book when I simply gave up. I just didn't care about the characters to care what happened to them. (Sadly, I think I have a pretty good guess what happened to them anyway).

One of the biggest challenges with trying to care about the characters is that they were all just so terribly dull and stereotypical to the point that they could have been copied from "A Beginners Guide to "Tropes." Even the dialogue was stereotypical for the ch
In the latest installment of the Jackellian series, Hunt finally presents the inner workings of Cassarabia and its womb magic. That is the best part of the book, seeing the inner workings of what before was only an enemy.

We have also two converging story threads, a certain character that appears in all the Jackelian books, and the aerostatical navy.

However, despite all this, the formula is starting to get old, even with the small details of Victorian tales, such as a Mr. Hyde reference.

It is no
Oct 21, 2013 Normalene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only after i read this did I realize it was #5 in a series. So I probably missed a lot of back story that would have cleared up some of the confusion. STeampunk England/Germany wars with the Middle East in a onflict that includes dragons, zeppelins, GMOs, men who can reproduce through genetic manipulation and a whole bunch of ick. I loved the story of Jack and like the story of Omar but when hey came together for the last half of the book, the author had trouble making me care about the characte ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
My first attempt at steampunk novels. Good story.
In general, this book is on par with previous installments, but in various ways, this foray into an alternate pseudo-Islamic caliphate seems casually Orientalist. Add to that, our "Arab" protagonist Omar is this hypermasculine figure, counterposed oddly to the female characters in the book. If I don't think too hard, the book is fine - an adventure romp with some weird genetic tinkering mixed in. When I did stop to think about it, the book bothered me. I'll probably read the next one, but it gav ...more
Sean Martin
Fun, but just didn't quite hold together for me.
Jun 16, 2012 Qing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I am annoyed that I accidentally read book 6 prior to this, even though the books are almost stand alone. Almost.

Damn it.

Despite that, I felt this was one of the more interesting storyline from the Jackelian series (though I admit that I struggled for a bit in the first few chapters).

I didn't quite like Omar at first, but with all that happened, I found myself caring a lot by the end.

Jack, on the other hand, I always did like.

Jared Black... I still find him annoying >_>
Oct 06, 2014 Brooke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2014
I've loved this series so far, but this installment just draaaaagged out forever with very little to interest me. The characters were dull, the plot was boring, and I very nearly decided to not finish the final 120 pages. I ended up persevering, and the final 120 pages were the most interesting out of the whole book, but all the twists and shocks and deaths they contained still had absolutely no effect on me at all.
Peter Cooper
Jun 25, 2014 Peter Cooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This was well written and original, but by the time I reached page 128 I still didn't care about any of the characters or what happened to them. The whole thing felt like a series of events that I was watching as a passive observer rather than being drawn into the story. Maybe I should have kept going, but I have a massive pile of to-be-reads and I'm not getting any younger.
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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 Kingdom Beyond the Waves (Jackelian, #2)
  • The Rise of the Iron Moon (Jackelian, #3)
  • Secrets of the Fire Sea (Jackelian, #4)
  • From the Deep of the Dark (Jackelian, #6)

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