Sunday, 13 March 2011
Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris by Cameron Chapman
This novella-length first instalment sets up its steampunk environment very effectively - there's a lovely Jules Verne feel to the airship Fenris, for example, you could almost see the brass, and feel the woodgrain of the floor, I immediately wanted scale drawings and cutaways, and to know how the engine worked! There's much potential for exoticism when protagonists are as well-travelled as this pair: Isabelle is familiar with India, we learn, while Stig got his striking tattoo in Borneo. His experience extends to dealing with the Sirens, too, creatures was ethereality belies their predatory nature. As they get closer to their first port of call, the Northern Lights evoke the coldness and clarity and beauty of their airborne world, a contrast to the real fear of pirate attack. And then there's the mysterious cargo...
I'm very pleased to see that Cameron Chapman is already working on the next instalment - there's so much history to discover about her characters, and so much more to explore, and she's created a world I want to immerse myself in (though perhaps I'm glad not to have to try to survive in it myself!). My appetite for airship travel has been whetted and I'm longing to climb back aboard the Fenris. I rather hope the cargo turns up again, too.