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(Peridot Shift #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  66 reviews
A fantastical steampunk first contact novel that ties together high magic, high technology, and bold characters to create a story you won’t soon forget.

Captain Talis just wants to keep her airship crew from starving, and maybe scrape up enough cash for some badly needed repairs. When an anonymous client offers a small fortune to root through a pile of atmospheric wreckage
ebook, 535 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Parvus Press
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Flotsam is a book that intrigued me from the first line of its cover blurb.

A fantastical steampunk first contact novel that ties together high magic, high technology, and bold characters to craft a story you won’t soon forget.

Seriously, that one line promises a lot. The further I read, the more excited I became, until I started to worry my expectations were becoming too high. No matter how good a read it might be, R.J. Theodore had her work cut out for her - through no fault of her own - in deli
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Publisher: Parvus

Publishing Date: January 2018

ISBN: 9780997661361

Genre: Mixed but mostly Steampunk

Rating: 4.4/5

Publishers Description: Captain Talis just wants to keep her airship crew from starving, and maybe scrape up enough cash for some badly needed repairs. When an anonymous client offers a small fortune to root through a pile of atmospheric wreckage, it seems like an easy payday. The job yields an ancient ring, a forbidden secret, and a host of deadly enemies.

Review: A crazy blending of St
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
This book is a cool blend of steampunk, fantasy, and sci-fi. I am not even quite sure which category to tuck this one in and I loved that about it.

You can tell there was a lot thought put into this world, it’s gorgeous. The setting, the alien cultures, the outfits, everything was so visually stunning and I liked that it was a nice balance of detailed world building and trusting you to be able to keep up. And that there was a very handy glossary for the times when you think you know what somethi
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
*I received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review*

Review: 2.5 stars. Okay, so Flotsam is... interesting. (Aka the start of every "conflicted feelings" review)

I have to say, I started off pretty impressed. The world of Peridot is really cool, from a planet made up of thousands of floating islands that's currently in the midst of an alien encounter to there being five different types of humans with various strange additions (extra arms or feathers, for example) to the airships th
Timothy Boyd
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really like it when I try a new writer and they just grab me up in a totally new and different world and story. Once again I tried someone new based on a write up at (you really should take a look at the website). Now i admit I am a new steampunk convert and a sucker for a story with airships in it but this was a great find. Good action, humor and a nice different world made for a very entertaining read. The 2nd book comes out this year and is already moved to the top of my read ...more
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

Space pirates! Or maybe Steampunk pirates? But still, what's not to love? This was such a fun book. It's set in a world that basically used to be a 'normal' planet but something happened that they call the Cataclysm and it got 'blown up' I guess for lack of a better word, but now their 'planet' is made up a lot of little islands [that somehow still have gravity and air? But I'll suspend my disbelief because I really love it] and the 'flotsam' is
Read on my blog.

LGBTQAI+: I think Tisker (a side character) is gay, but there is only really one reference to it and the word isn’t used. There are also aliens who use neopronouns. (So, not much.)
Sex on page: No (also no romance at all, only references to a past fling)

I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not even sure how to rate this book. 3 stars? 3.5?

Peridot is a fractured planet made up of many islands, home to five distinct humanoid races that were create
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk
Flotsam has one of the strangest non-dream settings I’ve experienced in books. The planet Peridot underwent a catastrophic event, known as the Cataclysm, that resulted in the world being split into pieces that are loosely held together by the power of the Nexus. Each piece is an island, floating in space. One assumes that the Nexus maintains the loose configuration, atmosphere and gravity that allows the islands to support thriving populations. Oh, and the gods live within the Nexus and seem to ...more
Normally, I am not a scifi reader at all, but this combination of scifi, steampunk, and space opera was very engaging for me and I was pleasantly surprised at how readable it is. It is funny, the character development felt natural, the pacing felt just right, and the world is unusual enough that it is intriguing but not so unusual that it leaves you feeling confused and left behind. Once you get into the rhythm of the writing, the author's style is refreshing and it felt very "clean" in terms of ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tails and crew are down on their luck so accept a contract that will tide them over, trouble is this simple job to salvage an old antique ring is not so simple and they're not the only ones with an interest. A fabulous SteamPunk adventure with Airships, Aliens and God's.
I really enjoyed this and I loved Scrimshaw the Yu'Nyum Alien who ended up on the Wind Sabre and I hope we see more of his character in the next book, which I'm really looking forward to.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Flotsam drew me into a type of world I’ve never seen before. An exciting mash up of space opera and steampunk, the adventures of Talis and her airship crew kept me riveted. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment of this series!
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I received an advanced ARC copy of this book.

Maybe it's because I'm more of a hard sword-and-sorcery fantasy reader than a sci-fi or steampunk reader, but I really enjoyed this novel and found it to be very original. The world building is extensive without getting bogged down in the details, which I appreciated. Many authors most known for their "world building" tend to get so hung up in description that they forget to develop their characters, and that didn't happen here. I fou
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Historically for me stories of space travel reminded me of Star Trek which I had been ambivalent about at best as a child. So to say I was uninspired by the long running galactic TV series to ever read books set in space was probably an understatement. However, after reading Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman’s acclaimed Starbound series a whole new genre of books was opened up to me. This led me to Flotsam and how very glad I am.

Talis is captain of her own ship, Wind Sabre and along with her small
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second steampunkish novel I've read recently featuring airships plying between the floating remnants of a planet long after a catastrophe has torn it apart, and I have to say, if this is a new genre, I like it. For one thing, both of them have been better, from a copy editing viewpoint, than the vast majority of steampunk books, but they've also shown a good grasp of story structure and characterisation. (The other was Curtis Craddock's An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors.)

I have to sa
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok

I wanted to like this book: indie author, new setting, etc., etc.

Unfortunately, that's just not how it all shook out.

The author clearly loves her world, and clearly has tried to make it feel rich, well-developed and lived in. She manages to do that pretty well, but at the expense of her characters unfortuantely. There's a lot going on, society-wise and technology-wise and magic-wise, but because I don't really feel much for the characters or every really get a feel for personal stakes, the
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
I was expecting to like this book. I wasn't expecting to love this book. I certainly never thought it would end up on my "wow" shelf, but I feel it's earned its place there. I actually found myself avoiding reading because I didn't want it to end. At the outset, I admit I was concerned by the very prevalent Firefly-like feel (there were times when I could easily read Talis's dialogue in Nathan Fillion's voice), but as I read on that faded away and the story took on a life (and a charm) all its o ...more
2.5* but I'll bump to 3 because I think it had potential.

This book reminded me a lot of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which I was also so-so on. I liked that this book had a more linear plot (but more on plot later because it was...messy) and didn't feel episodic the way Long Way did for me. But, what I loved about Long Way was the tight-knit crew and the character interactions. That was missing for me in Flotsam. It tried, but pretty much from the get go that we meet the crew, they're
Amanda Meggs
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, steampunk
This is the most original novel that I have read in years, I loved Flotsam. Talis is an excellent Captain of her own ship Wind Sabre, she has a small crew of three, Sophie, Dug and Tisker. All are great characters, strong minded and integral to the story. The world is building is so well done that I had a solid picture in my mind all the way through and it was fantastically different from any world in any other books I've read. I loved it, as a first novel from the author, I was blown away by th ...more
The first book in the steampunk/science fiction series Peridot Shift. I got an ARC from the publisher.

Talis is the captain of Wind Saber, a small airship with a total crew of four people. To keep her vessel in the air, Talis is sometimes forced to take jobs which are borderline legal, or outright illegal. Like the one that starts the story. One of the few fences Talis trusts offered her a job that looked easy enough. An old ring needed to be retrieved from the wreckage of an airship. Talis agree
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Struggled to finish just too little of a lot going on. There is a glossary at the end of the book that I would have found helpful at the first to describe expanse of characters and places. Book has gods, aliens, and a crew of misfit beings that are fighting to retrieve items for pay. At the same time being chased by the imperial law of the planet. "A copy of this book was supplied by Parvus Press via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion. ...more
Claire ✨
DNF at 17%. The writing is overly descriptive and plodding, and I’m not getting a good feel for Talis. Great premise though, and may suit someone else’s tastes.
Paula Lyle
Mar 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
Sorry, but this is just a mess. The beginning is way too slow. Long passages about architecture and decoration where nothing happens. About 60% the plot took off and begin to become very interesting, then it just all fell apart. Things happen with absolutely no explanation. Lots of detail about the ship falling apart, which doesn't seem to matter once it's gone. The ending puts the seven remaining characters in very dire straits, apparently they are going to continue on but to what purpose or go ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixing genres set in a beautiful world.

Flotsam is an interesting, and odd mix of genres, combined together to tell her story set in a truly Marvelous world. Undoubtedly Peridot, the world this novel takes place in, is the true hero of this story. It is unique and interesting and this novel's strongest selling-point. Imagine a world remade after a great cataclysme. The old word is shattered and what remains are thousands of floating islands and the Flotsam debris that drifts at the bottom of it a
Courtney Pettersen
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Allow me to preface this review by stating that I received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

From the first page of Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) and through the last, I was flooded with memories of a former favorite television show, Firefly. Talis and her crew mirror many of the same traits as some of those of Serenity's own. For that similarity alone, I believe that many would find R.J. Theodore's Sci-Fi/Steampunk world appealing.

The first few chapters were slightly difficul
Take a pinch of Jim Butcher's Aeronaut's Windlass, add a dash of Treasure Planet, some vivid imagery from Avatar, a generous helping of banter from Firefly and you might have an idea the feeling this story left me with. Admittedly, the "glowing pumpkins" had me thoroughly off track till I went to the glossary at the end, then my squirrel (moment) got back on its hamster wheel and I was hooked. The captain and crew of the airship Wind Sabre take what should be a basic salvage mission and find the ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book started off really well. It is written from single perspective and you get a really good feel for the main character. You get a good feel for all the main characters really, but you get a little bit of a slant on them from the main character's perspective. Talis seems to be a strong willed heroine and one who, despite being a little lacking on the planning side of things, is a capable leader. The author also does a good job with the world development, doesn't data dump, but d ...more
Erik Bailey
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Guess it's techno-steam-punk. I really wanted to like the story, had everything I wanted, ships and pirates and dashing battles, but just awkwardly paced for me ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
This ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The blurb really pulled me in for this one. Vivid worldbuilding was what I was looking forward to and I was not disappointed. The setting is Peridot, a afractured planet held together by the energy known as Nexus. It is inhabited by 5 distinct races and is visited by an alien race that comes from outer space. The mix of steampunk elements (in the form of flying ships the likes of which I admired and loved in
Sadie Forsythe
This wasn't a bad read. I thought the world was really interesting and on the surface the characters seemed to be too. The writing was easily readable and the editing was sound. All in all, I'd recommend it.

However, it did seem overly long, dragging in the middle. I never felt I really got to know the characters, especially the crew and primary antagonist. And the fate of the world was left unresolved in favor of the reader learning the fate of a few.

Lastly, I'm torn about the use of the Xe pr
John Purvis
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Flotsam" eBook was published in 2018 and was written by R. J. Theodore ( This is Ms. Theodore's second publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in another world. It is a combination science fiction and steampunk tale. The primary character is Talis, Captain of the airship Wind Sabre.

Talis and her crew t
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R J Theodore is hellbent on keeping herself busy. Seriously folks, if she has a two spare minutes to rub together at the end of the day, she invents a new project with which to occupy them.
She enjoys design, illustration, video games (mostly spectating, for she is not as adept at them as she would prefer), reading, binging on media, napping with her cats, and cooking. She is passionate about art a

Other books in the series

Peridot Shift (2 books)
  • Salvage (Peridot Shift #2)

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