Review: The Black Lung Captain

Black Lung Captain, TheChris Wooding, The Black Lung Captain

***Warning: SPOILERS for Retribution Falls!***

Darian Frey and the crew of the Ketty Jay are once again down on their luck. The airship needs repairs, but Frey can’t afford to buy the engine parts he needs. Crake, still tormented with guilt over accidentally killing his niece, is trying to drown his sorrows in a bottle. Jez is struggling to come to terms with being part Mane, afraid that this feral, violent side of her will eventually consume her humanity. Harkins is so jittery and terrified that he can’t even cope with Slag, the Ketty Jay‘s ancient and ornery cat. Even the loutish Pinn is depressed, missing his girlfriend back home. So when Frey is offered the chance to salvage a mysterious treasure in the heart of the jungle, he leaps at the opportunity despite the obvious dangers ahead. He even teams up with Trinica Dracken, the most feared sky pirate on the planet — and Frey’s ex-lover. But of course, nothing about this job is what it seems to be, and the supposed “treasure” may lead to widespread destruction, unless Frey and his crew can stop it first.

Retribution Falls was an unexpected delight when I read it earlier this year, so I couldn’t resist picking up this second book in the series! I’m thrilled to say that this book is just as much swashbuckling fun as the first, with tons of action and some wonderful character development. The stakes are even higher in this book, because Frey and his crew have more to lose: their last adventure created bonds of friendship and loyalty, and now those bonds are being tested. I really loved that the book switches between many points of view; although Frey, Crake, and Jez are probably the most fleshed-out characters, everyone has a moment to shine — even Slag the cat! And because the main characters of the series have already been established, the book has more time to spend on worldbuilding, giving tantalizing glimpses of the bigger picture surrounding Frey’s adventures. I am really looking forward to learning more about the geopolitical situation of this planet in future books, because I just know Frey and his crew are going to get involved somehow! I can’t wait to continue with this series!

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