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Steal the Sky

(Scorched Continent #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  624 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet—the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.

But in the middle of his schem
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  624 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was an interesting fantasy that had a bit of action, intrigue, mystery, and humor. It also had an interesting bunch of characters and a pretty cool fantasy world. The nature of the magic gave this fantasy world a weird steampunk feel!

The action took place in the desert oasis city of Aransa. The city is mining colony on the edges of the Empire. The thing mined is the magical substance Selium. Sel is the source that powers a lot of the Empire's economy. It is a lighter than air gas that Sel
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This new fantasy novel had me in a twitter before I sat down to read it. I expected a steampunk fantasy tome, and if I'm really honest with myself, I always *want* to like steampunk more than I ever truly do.

In fact, I almost pre-judged this one based on my lackluster experiences.

Good news! This is anything but lackluster! :) Now, I don't even know what I was worried about! We've got solid characters butting heads with each other across battle-lines of prejudice, class, and logic. We've got airs
Althea Ann
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow! This one really exceeded my expectations - great fun!

Stylistically, 'Steal the Sky' is like a mash-up of Cherie Priest's 'Clockwork Century' series and Scott Lynch's 'Gentleman Bastards.' If you like either of those authors, Megan O'Keefe comes highly recommended. She serves up a good mix of grit, humor, and excitement.

The world is steampunk with a sword-and-sorcery feel. A mining town at the foot of an unstable volcano is devoted to the pursuit of extracting 'selium' - a lighter-than-air a
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it
With a promise of fantasy con artists, a desert oasis, an exiled commodore, a murderous doppel, and a stolen airship, I knew I had to give Steal the Sky a read. It sounded like a lot of fun, and that was exactly what I wanted to kick off the new year. I am pleased to say that Megan E. O'Keefe delivers on that fun, and does so with a great degree of characterization and world building than I expected.

The city of Asana, it is one of the more imaginative places I've come across in fantasy. Here is
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
3.5 stars

The characters are definitely the highlight in this book, and almost outshine the actual story. The worldbuilding is a really creative desert-steampunk that felt completely different.
Beth Cato
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolute blast. It mixes up magic and steampunk shenanigans in the style of Firefly. Detan is a lovable rogue with snarky wit and a huge secret. The world-building here is phenomenal. It's steampunk as far as airships and factory technology, but there's almost an old west feel to it all (adding to the Firefly vibe). The magic is fascinating, too: the manipulation of a mined substance that is lighter than air and grants airships loft but can also be used by especially adept practi ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
The only thing stranger than making a deal with the Watch Captain of Aransa to steal the best ship in the realm is finding out you may have just made the deal with a doppelganger. Detan Honding wasn't planning an extended stay in Aransa. As a gifted selium sensitive, he tries his best to stay out of mining towns where selium is all too temptingly within reach. However, after waking up with a burlap sack over his face and wheedling his way out of trouble by playing the watch captain off against h ...more
John McDermott
3.5 stars.
Steal the Sky was an entertaining Fantasy caper featuring two likeable rogues in Detan and Tibs. All the characters were engaging ; the villains were suitably villainous and our heroes were reluctantly er.... well heroic. A good series for fans of Locke Lamora to indulge in while we wait for The Thorn of Emberlain to come out. If it ever does !!
Recommended and I'll certainly be reading more by Megan E. O'Keefe.
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

An interesting world with a lot of background remaining to be discovered, and characters that all hide more depth than one would think at first. However, I found the story itself somewhat confusing.

It starts with an offer that our main thief/conman character, Detan Honding, is in no position to refuse, coming from the very captain of the Watch. A strange request: steal the newfangled airship of ex-Commodore Thra
The story has great characters and witty dialog. The story itself I thought was kind of weak. The character names were confusing and were hard for me to follow.

The audiobook is well done.

I'm not sure if I will read the next book in the series.
Nicholas Karpuk
I was told there would be sky pirates.

I'd like to think I have better reasons for my disappointment, but I have to acknowledge a chunk of it comes from how it was pitched to our book club. It filled my head with visions of swashbuckling aboard flying ships amidst cannon fire.

In reality, there's very little action through most of the book, and no significant flying occurs until about 80% of the way through. This ultimately relates to the novel's greatest issues, pacing.

I'm normally not this aware
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: January 2016


Genre: SciFi Steampunk

Rating: 4.7/5

Publishers Description: Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sight’s on their biggest heist yet – the gorgeous airship of the exiled c
A.E. Marling
If you want to visit a steampunk mining town where lighter-than-air gel is extracted and used for both airships and magic, then read Steal the Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe. The opalescent gel is the second most prized resource in the Empire. The first is those men and women who are sensitive to it, especially those with enough command to shape it in crafts of power.

The rogue Detan can command it with rage. If he allows himself to get angry, the gel around him will ignite to the destruction of all. He
Lynn Williams
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I’m going to be totally honest here and just come out and say that Steal the Sky was a book that I very nearly decided to skip. I don’t know why. On the face of it this book has everything that I would normally jump at so I guess at the time I was maybe just having a ‘moment’. I’m so glad it was a fleeting moment because I did pick up a copy (clearly) and it was a really enjoyable read.

At the start of the story we have two conmen arriving in the City of Ar
Online Eccentric Librarian
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, steampunk, sci-fi
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Steal the Sky by Megan E. O'Keefe is an inventive sci fi/steampunk adventure featuring a lovable airship rogue trying to make a living on the fringes, his stalwart first mate, and a Watch Captain too upstanding to be posted to a outpost settlement. Add in a 'doppel' who can change faces at will, and grifter will get scammed, watch captain betrayed, and several big explosions happen in between.

Story: Detan Honding has
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, steampunk
Some good ideas but the execution could have been a lot better.
The is a first novel in a steampunk world.
The world is one of cities surrounded by deserts ( the Scorch) and volcanoes from which a substance called sel is harvested.
It's not very clear what this substance is for except it's lighter than air and is used in flying ships.
On top of this some people are sensitive to this substance and can use it in different ways ( make it explode with their mind, or disguise their appearance). The think
Ashe Armstrong
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes intrigue and airships
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-ladies
I was excited to get to this book. It's Megan's first and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The characters had their own voices, the setting was wonderful and easy to visualize (one scene in particular involving the Black Wash was a favorite), and the story was lots of fun. I started off intrigued and for a while, due to my usual reading habits, was a bit confused by the slow build up. I say slow but that was just in comparison to something much more focused on action. That "slowness" was all in my h ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-books, 2016-reads
This solid fantasy debut novel delivers witty dialogue, a main character with an ignoble tongue, a story with twists and turns, funny moments, a pinch of steampunk and sword and sorcery.
It is not my book of the year but I have had a good time with this book.
Wing Kee
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5! I wanted to love this sooo much.

World: Airships and kingdoms and magic, on paper it felt like “Eternal Arcadia” for Dreamcast and the images it conjured in my head were so splendid. However, that’s not totally what I got. I think the best thing about this book is the world building, with the ships and the floating cities and the volcanos and mines and the Sel it was an interesting albeit done before world that I would love to explore. The magic system was a bit vague and that kinda threw me
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rushed into this book headlong...

I should have waited. I discovered the author by reading "Velocity Weapon" and falling in love with the characters and story. This book has none of the polish of Megan O'Keefe's newest. The characters feel flat, the story overly long, and the motivations simplistic. That said I do feel that author's usually get better as they write, I look forward to continuing this series after I go off and read something completely different.
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

Steal the Sky is Megan E. O’Keefe’s debut novel . It’s an imaginative, intriguing piece of work, set in a unique world, with a lot of potential.

The world O’Keefe has created has the feeling of being on the margins of something larger. It’s centred on a town nestled on the side of a volcanic mountain. The town is sat on the side of an active volcano because it contains ‘selium’, a lighter than air gas, which can be used for travel – but can also be ma
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a first novel? Very nice job. I didn't trip over the usual freshman mistakes as I ran through the book. The writer seemed saltier than most beginners. Kudos.

As for the book, Detan Honding is a guy on Some World, a kind of a con man with a small flier. He starts out playing the lovable rascal. The story begins with a bag on his head, and then slows down a bit before it picks up. It seems that he is actually "Lord Honding" and comes from a powerful family in another place. He has a sideki
Elaine Aldred
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Detan Honding, a loveable scoundrel and noble-born conman, has landed his ragbag airship in oasis city of Aransa and is up to no good. But you can’t help but love him. Dentan and his right hand man Tibs are after a bit of airborne class in the shape of the Larkspur, the airship of the exiled commodore Thratia. But the heist is complicated when a face changer, known as a doppel, begins working her way through the key members of Aransa’s government. The spate of murders results in mass paranoia th ...more
Barbara Desmond
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Got ARC from Net Galley.

When I spotted this book I just had to request it. The blurb from an author I've been meaning to read called it Firefly steampunk which sold me. Also the title makes me think of the theme song. Come on admit it I'm not the only one that sings the song. I make sure no one is around because I can't sing but gorram it that song is catchy.

I also love the cover. This book really does have a Firefly vibe to it. I'm shocked that this is Megan's first book. At this point I'd be t
Jonathan Brazee
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Too many books are formulaic, in my opinion. Some are still good, some are not, all depending on the skill of the writer. What I liked about Steal the Sky was that not only was it well-written, but it was fresh and new. The story immediately caught my attention with an interesting and engaging cast of characters, and the world-building was intricate and enjoyable. I might have had a faint quibble on meteorology, but overall, her universe rang true. More than ringing true, which is just one vital ...more
Courtney Schafer
I'm a total sucker for scoundrels with more depth than is at first apparent, and strong bonds of friendship between very different people, and dangerous psychic-power style magic, so it's like this book was made just for me. I LOVED it, especially the last third or so, after (view spoiler). After finishing the story, I immediately went back and re-read all my favorite bits--there ...more
Jennifer Koudelka
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm going to do my very best not to compare Steal the Sky to the BIG fantasy heist novel everyone in the fantasy community knows, loves, and wants book 4 published. But truth be told, the original reason I picked up Steal the Sky was because I was yearning for something similar to Lies of Locke Lamora but felt guilty rereading Lies when so many unread books exist. Steal the Sky seemed perfect! A fun duo of rogues, one of noble birth, working together with the watch captain in order to steal a pr ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
It's 4 stars for effort and 3 for execution. This book was a pleasant surprise in one sense, as the setting is vivid and original. O'Keefe has grounded her imagination enough in solid (and interesting) description to give life to her constructed world. As the author's first novel, it's a commendable feat.

There were three main detractors from the promising story: 1) one-dimensional characters; 2) loose, deviating plot lines; and 3) awkward grammar and word choice in places (e.g. 'not-Ripka', 'too
James Latimer
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women
This was a fun book, but a fun book with a satisfying level of complexity and some great characters. I loved the tight focus of the story on three POV characters in one city, all involved in the same imbroglio. The setting is also inventive: a basic, frontier-style steampunk without the steam (or guns), where the magic extra-floaty gas* is central to everything. The only slight let-down is that with the frenetic pace and small cast bouncing off each other in a confined space, a few of the decisi ...more
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
More a 3.5 stars.

"an epic steam punk firefly" says the recommendation on the back.
whilst I can't say I agree with that statement, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The relaxed way in which the author built the world and characters made this such a silky read.
A good first book set up, ready for book two.

I wouldn't call this an epic adventure (yet. who knows in book 2, it certainly has the potential) it was definitely full of interesting shenanigans.
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Megan E. O'Keefe was raised amongst journalists, and as soon as she was able joined them by crafting a newsletter which chronicled the daily adventures of the local cat population. She has worked in both arts management and graphic design, and spends her free time tinkering with anything she can get her hands on.

Megan lives in the Bay Area of California. She's won the Gemmell Morningstar Award for

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Scorched Continent (3 books)
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