Mark's Reviews > Secrets of the Fire Sea

Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt
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M 50x66
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Jun 23, 2012

really liked it

The fourth book in Hunt's sequence of books about the various characters that inhabit Jackels and it's surrounding world. This was my favorite in all the series. It combines a sort of Victorian steam punk sci fi with a murder mystery that holds together through the entire book and to the end. The story takes place on the strange island of Jago, which is surrounded by a burning hot sea that can only be navigated by powerful difference engines and is inhabited by humans who live in small enclaves protected from the island's deadly indigenous fauna. A suitably claustrophobic setting for a story which somehow brings together a military invasion, a murder mystery, and some deep science fiction background on an ancient race that once enslaved humans for food to create a great climax at the end. The characters were also well-developed. In earlier novels, some of the distinctive character dialogue, especially that of "poor old Captain Blackie" would get on my nerves at times, but in this book, Hunt has hit his stride by hitting the sweet spot between character dialogue and realistic characters.

I'm not sure if one could read this first, or if you would have to read at least a couple of the precursor novels first, but I think it would be enjoyable either way.
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