cover image Jack Cloudie

Jack Cloudie

Stephen Hunt. Tor, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3320-9

In the swashbuckling fifth steampunk-inspired fantasy in Hunt’s Jackelian series (after Secrets of the Fire Sea), Jack Keats is caught red-handed trying to break into Lords Bank. He faces death at the hands of the Jackelian middle-court until he is saved by the might of the Royal Aerostatical Navy—which just means he’ll be cannon fodder in the ongoing war against the Cassarabian infidels. Jack becomes a transaction engine operator on the Iron Partridge, the RAN’s ramshackle, unloved prototype aerostat. Getting the ship to fly is the first order of business for a crew made up of misfits, convicts, and drunkards, and their mission, to penetrate hostile territory to spy on the Cassarabians new airships, is so risky as to be suicidal. Hunt combines elements of fantasy, genetic manipulation, and a large dash of Patrick O’Brien to form a wonderfully satisfying tale of adventure. Agent: John Jarrold. (Aug.)