Algernon's Reviews > Retribution Falls

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
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's review
Oct 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011
Read in October, 2011

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 privateers so vividly portayed by Errol Flynn or John Barrymore, the Corsairs of the Carribean and the Outlaws of the Wild West. more recently we had Joss Wheddon and Firefly - the closest relative to the crew of the Ketty Jay.

The story flows effortlessly from one mishap to another, from seedy airship ports to luxurious palaces or secluded monasteries. The worldbuilding is top notch, with many civilizations, a rich history and complex political / military conflicts. The geography is seen mostly from the air - steep mountains, misty valleys, frozen outposts or lush islands.

We get to know the Origin story of each member of the crew, brought together by an inability to conform to the rules of society or simply by personal vices or bad luck. They are a spirited bunch, fond of hard liquor and coarse humor, independent spirits trying to forge a team and learn responsibility for their action. Here is where the story raises above mere entertainment, clicheed plot twists and special effects thrills.
One special note of praise from me to Mr Wooding for managing to convey the danger and the ruthlessness of the underworld without falling into the recent fad of excessive cussing or blood squirts. His characters still believe in redemption and adventure for the sake of it.

looking forward to the next two Ketty Jay books.
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