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Retribution Falls

(Tales of the Ketty Jay #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  9,502 ratings  ·  1,161 reviews
Frey is the captain of the Ketty Jay, leader of a small and highly dysfunctional band of layabouts. An inveterate womaniser and rogue, he and his gang make a living on the wrong side of the law, avoiding the heavily armed flying frigates of the Coalition Navy. With their trio of ragged fighter craft, they run contraband, rob airships and generally make a nuisance of themse ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published June 18th 2009 by Gollancz
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Abby Yes! The second I picked this book up, I was reminded of the Serenity crew. I think the author must certainly be a Firefly fan. There are so many simi…moreYes! The second I picked this book up, I was reminded of the Serenity crew. I think the author must certainly be a Firefly fan. There are so many similarities for it not to draw from the show.(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining and fun beginning to a steampunk fantasy series filled with great characters.

A few months ago when I finished Wooding’s newest book, The Ember Blade, my review was flooded with comments along the line of “I can’t wait for this one. I loved his Tales of the Ketty Jay series!” and because I absolutely loved The Ember Blade, knowing that there’s so much love for Wooding’s previous series immediately seal the deal that I MUST give this series a try; and I’m glad I gave it a go.

Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well, that was fun 😄
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to try steampunk genre for a long time. To be honest this isn’t my first steampunk read. I’ve read Senlin Ascends a couple of months ago and even though it had some steampunk elements and steampunkish vibe I wouldn’t label it as a steampunk novel per se. That label belongs to Retribution Falls; a full blown steampunk adventure.

You’re probably asking yourself how can I assume the role of the expert on the field and label this or that if this is my first read of that kind. Well, you’re ri
Mayim de Vries
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am sure I’d hate Darian Frey if I met him: a rebellious Peter Pan with ego overgrowth. But may, wasn’t it fun to read about the scoundrel! And his airship. And his crew. What a merry band of misfits!

Because The Olympian Affair went G.R.R. Martin on me, I am substituting myself with other steampunk series. The first volume of the “Tales of the Ketty Jay” introduces us to Captain Darian Frey, who - as befits a lesser pirate - barely makes ends meet, and gets into trouble every now and then. The
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2012-reads
Nataliya Gushes About This Book - Picture Frenzy - More Book Gushing - I Want To Be An Airship Pilot (*)
* Oh, did I mention how much I love Jules Verne-esque chapter titles?

Retribution Falls is a well-crafted steampunk novel that immediately won me over. It is a very entertaining and refreshing read that has everything you want for 400-plus pages of delightful fun. I am serious - I mean, there are airships, sky piracy, GOLD, legendary pirate city, revolvers, adventures, danger, undead
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars. First read through, have to say it was very good. Probably my favorite steampunk to date, and a fine novel all around. Airships, gunfights, pirates, a golem, daemons... lots of fun ingredients but also fully developed characters. A little bit of the "shades of grey" protagonists; the captain of the airship seems to resemble Captain Jack Sparrow--charming as all get out, but you have the sneaking suspicion he isn't trustworthy. In fact, first couple of incidents we witness ...more
Dan Schwent
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, steampunk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
BR with the BBB gang starting November 27, 2015.

I read this book while buddy reading The Chronicles of the Black Company. BAD idea. The series is so mind-blowingly awesome that any book pales in comparison.

Retribution Falls – What should have been

This book was a 5-star rating waiting to happen. Why? Because sky pirates + inveterate womanizer/rogue mc + gang of dysfunctional misfits =

The mere presence of Captain Frey, our resident rogue, should have triggered this Pavlovian response in me: BA
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
What happens if you combine The Lies of Locke Lamora with air ships, then add some Pirates of the Caribbean? This. This is what happens. Chris Wooding nailed it in Retribution Falls.

I'll get this out of the way. I've been told it's a lot like Firefly. You may have to take away my geek card here ... but I've never seen Firefly. The movie, Serenity, was excellent, but I'm still looking forward to checking out the show. This means I can't confirm or deny the comparison.

I apologize for any non-Fire
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one fun novel. Combining several popular themes: steampunk, airships, pirates, ragtag team protagonists (my personal fav theme), and forbidden magic.

At first I thought the strength of this novel is in the action scenes, and witty dialogs. But after reaching the mid part, I changed my mind. The strength of this novel is on the character developments in an action-packed story. Not all parts of the story are plot driven, but some story parts are character driven.

I believe many readers will
Apr 29, 2015 marked it as to-read
No, I've not yet read this yet, but I'm adding a note because (a) it's on sale for $1.99 so well worth picking up now and (b) someone on /r/fantasy (a site I love) said it was a highly underrated book. So I'm bumping it on my TBR pile. ...more
I had lot of fun. First book of Tales of Ketty Jay offers fun adventure and interesting set of characters. Bunch of misfits and renegades, all of which get their fascinating backstories revealed.

The reason why this book isn't getting higher rating is that most of aspects of it are just "good enough". It had strong Firefly vibe all wraped in interesting steampunk setting but writing falls bit flat. There was no witty banter and fun quotes, in fact there was no dialog or monologue would remember a
Retribution Falls is a steampunk fantasy that has loads of action. The air ships were interesting and I especially liked the air battles. The second half was better than the first half, but I pretty much liked it from the beginning. The characters were all interesting but Frey, the captain, had to grow on me.

Sky piracy is a bit out of Darian Frey’s league. Fate has not been kind to the captain of the airship Ketty Jay—or his motley crew. They are all running from something.

I wouldn't say fate h
Scott  Hitchcock
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
A really slow start to this one had me wondering at the one-third mark if it was worth finishing. It got better and better from that point forward.

A steampunk tale about a bunch of misfits who finally bond as a crew. Their duplicitous captain more than most leads the pirate/smugglers on their misadventures where all of their pasts come back to haunt them to one extent or another.

Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Kitty G Books
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
I read this as a buddy read with Mercedes and Brock and I have to say that I read this over a few hours (on just 2 days) and I loved every second! I think there's a bit of a misconception surrounding this book in that it looks and seems like it could be a YA or Children's book because it's shorter than many adult fantasies are, but this is most definitely a solid adult Steampunk book and for one of my first few exposures to Steampunk this book handled that so brilliantly :D

This is the story of T
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thanks to my buddies for this read!!!

*** 4 ***

This book is not easy to qualify. It is a Fantasy with pirate adventure, low tech, and generously tinted dark. It flies in dark and tumultuous skies, it deals with characters dealing with dark pasts and shady present and, no one has clearly defined motives in a twisted desperate world... Yes, its all some shade of dark. But that doesn't make the book difficult to read, exactly the opposite. It is a magnetic story with characters who draw you in and y
A new steampunk series for me & one highly recommended by many....... rightly so I found to my delight.

The character involvement & interaction of the crew is spot-on with their individual backstories coming to the fore throughout the book during times of misfortunes/reflection & why they ended up on the Ketty Jay, all are poignant & go towards explaining how the cast of strays & waives bond over their adventure. They are Pirates (arrrrrrr) of a sort..... more like adventurers or scallywags as t
Lisa Reads & Reviews
I'm a Firefly fan who picked up Retribution Falls to feed my nostalgia for good old cowboy/pirate steampunk westerns. I wasn't disappointed, to say the least. I laughed, got misty, and turned pages, completely absorbed in the adventure. The writing is excellent, the characters fleshy and fascinating (except for 2 by my count), and the plot is somewhat classic, yet it delivers startling breezes of fresh air, plenty enough to prohibit yawns. The next book, Black Lung Captain, is now on my to-read ...more
“ladies, gentlemen, we're out of here! your boss is upstairs, and only mildly wounded. go help him if you have the inclination. you'll also notice the house is on fire. make of that what you like.”

hello and welcome to the stage of darian frey, captain of the airship Morally Grey, I MEAN, the ketty jay!

the cover of this book promised me gritty, arctic steampunk. the blurb of this book and its glowing reviews promised me a dysfunctional, fucked-up airship crew with dubious loyalties wh
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook reread! It was cool to be with the ragamuffin crew of the Ketty Jay again. I had as much fun as the first time and listening to the audiobook version added a whole other layer of enjoyment. The narrator did a superb job of giving each character, no matter now minor, his/her own distinct voice. My original four, fun stars still holds.

"Grab yourself a gun. Welcome to the crew."

And that's pretty much how we enter the world of the Ketty Jay crew. There is no slow build up, no set up o
Some people on here seem to give their 5 stars exclusively to books that supposedly change their lives and amounts awesome when mentioned in a serious conversation. There is nothing wrong with that, but I can't help just handing them out to books that were a fuckton of pure FUN in my opinion. This book is like that. Yes, you can say it's not the most original thing ever written by anyone, but I like to think of it as just... comfortably familiar, not boring and lamely cliché. What it does, it do ...more
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
There was a lot to like in this book. Really it gets 3.5 stars rounded down. For about half the book, it would have been 4 stars. The world building was good. The fight scenes were great. It was a fast-paced action led story. The main protagonists were interesting.
Many other reviews said this was too similar to a TV show they had seen. Well, I hadn't seen it, but as the book developed, it sounded more and more like a TV episode. Also the author felt the need to explain to the reader how each cha
 Danielle The Book Huntress
Retribution Falls took me on a journey where I was continually required to reevaluate everything-- from the story itself, the world in which it takes place, and not the least, the characters. Great worldbuilding, and surprisingly multi-faceted characters who seemed to be archetypes, but proved to be much more. It was complex, intriguing, and ultimately very enjoyable.

Reviewed for Bitten By books. http://bittenbybooks.com.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Executive Summary: Well, maybe I can enjoy Steampunk after all. I definitely plan on continuing with this series.

Full Review
I've been slow with reading the last month or two. This book was no different. That's not it's fault though. I found it every enjoyable the whole way.

When I did finally have some time over this holiday weekend to read, instead of reading 75-100 pages like I had planned, I ended up reading nearly half the book in one sitting.

Steampunk has never really appealed to me. I h
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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 private
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fof-reads
I really enjoyed this, and though I've been seeing great things said about it for a long time, I just now got to it. Well, I'm glad I did. I'm good and thoroughly hooked, and I'll be picking up more books in this series.

Cross The Winds of Khalakovo with Firefly and you might have a basic idea of what to expect. Or not. It's kinda its own thing too.

Pure fun; and do not be fooled by the pulp-like presentation of the novel with chapters with headings a la Jules Verne, since the novel is thoroughly modern in tone and content, partly ironic, partly serious.

I laughed out loud many, many times, but there is a lot of heartbreak and tragedy.

A crew of misfits led by one Darian Frey who seems to attract the attention of beautiful rich girls once too many for his own good is scrapping a living as airship smugglers and occasional pirates. Kind of bott
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy

A fun, enjoyable romp which is a mix of fantasy, steampunk and action. As I've never seen Firefly I can't say this is like that series (but noticed that comparison in a number of other reviews) but I would class it as a mix of Red Dwarf and Lies of Locke Lamora. A ragtag crew gets given a hot tip on some loot they can easily take from another vessel, a tip that sounds too good to be true. Would you believe it but it's too good to be true, by a long shot.

There were plenty of positives in t
I'd been hearing a lot about this book recently often mentioned in the same breath as sci-fi TV classic Firefly. And there are some similarities between them. A crew of misfits on a flying vessel, outside the law in a world recovering from war. There is a bit of humour and the crew gets in over their heads. But these are similarities with more than just Firefly. And all other similarities end there.

This tale revolved around Captain Frey and his ship, the Ketty Jay, and it's passengers. They aren
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
This was supposed to be fast-paced action. It's not bad, but taking into account some of the whiplash-inducing UF I have read in the last few years, this is pretty average. The blurb sounds interesting, the cover is really nice. But it took me a week to slog through the first 100 pages, as I could simply not build up any interest in the story or the charactes.

We have the mischievous criminal with a presumabely good heart and his band of misfits. A new crew member joins and gives us the outside v
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Chris Wooding grew up in a small town in Leicestershire, where not much of anything happened. So he started to write novels. He was sixteen when he completed his first. He had an agent by eighteen. By nineteen he had signed his first book deal. When he left university he began to write full-time, and he has been doing it professionally all his adult life.

Now thirty-nine, Chris has written over twe

Other books in the series

Tales of the Ketty Jay (4 books)
  • The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #2)
  • The Iron Jackal (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #3)
  • The Ace of Skulls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #4)

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“Ladies, gentlemen, we're out of here! Your boss is upstairs, and only mildly wounded. Go help him if you have the inclination. You'll also notice the house is on fire. Make of that what you like.” 16 likes
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