These books are silly. They're candy. Alexia remains feisty (and I love seeing her run around town kicking ass and solving problems while hugely pregn...moreThese books are silly. They're candy. Alexia remains feisty (and I love seeing her run around town kicking ass and solving problems while hugely pregnant), Carriger's narrative voice is entertaining, and the supernatural/preternatural drama of the series is still interesting enough. I do find that I don't really care about the plot all that much, though, and if not in the right mood, the books can easily become irritating instead of amusing. Knowing that, I can save them for when I am in that right mood and enjoy them then. Just like candy, too much is not a good thing and it can't replace a solid meal, but I do like candy.(less)
I bought this book only after having bought his second book, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, when several reviewers on Goodreads commented that the seco...moreI bought this book only after having bought his second book, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, when several reviewers on Goodreads commented that the second book, though not a direct sequel to the first, would have made more sense had they already read The Court of the Air. They are steampunk fantasy adventure novels and The Kingdom of the Waves drew me in with its ocean-y cover art featuring a submarine and diver, a sting ray, a turtle, and a wrecked ship at the bottom of the ocean. Sounds good, right?
I still want to read that one, but I'm not sold on The Court of the Air. It's somehow both too long and not long enough. The first part drags as it takes way too much time to switch back and forth between the various characters and their narratives (the middle and end pick up speed as the action builds and Hunt switches back and forth much more quickly, however); at the same time, though, there is simply too much book for this book. He doesn't seem to have enough time and space to do the necessary world-building, move the plot forward, and develop the characters into people I care about. To do all of these things successfully, this should probably be expanded upon and split into two or three books. As it is, the book seems to be mostly plot. The world-building is sometimes great and sometimes lackluster. And I don't care at all about the characters. I want to like them, but if they all died, I wouldn't be terribly sad. I would just know I was probably supposed to be terribly sad.
Despite these flaws, there are definitely good things about this book (steammen and magic and mysterious history) and I will still read the next book in the series--not just because of the cover art. It's set in the same world and I'm looking forward to more development of that world; I'm also hoping that maybe Hunt will have learned some things between books.(less)