Tag: pirate

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

Posted March 22, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Science Fiction / 0 Comments

Retribution Falls by Chris WoodingTitle: Retribution Falls (Goodreads)
Author: Chris Wooding
Series: Ketty Jay #1
Published: Gollancz, 2009
Pages: 384
Genres: Science Fiction
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

While sky piracy is not what Darian Frey wants, fate has not been kind to the captain of the Ketty Jay. Along with his crew, Frey finds himself involved in an attack that goes horribly wrong resulting in them being on the run. Hunted by the elite Century Knights and bounty hunters, the airship goes into hiding in the hidden legendary pirate town Retribution Falls but only to discover just how deep this conspiracy runs.

Most of the people would compare this book to the cult classic TV show Firefly; a band on misfits on the wrong side of the law struggling to make things right. Sure there are some similarities and that was the main reason I picked up this book but it really isn’t the same. Firefly has these great complex characters that somehow gel together really well, but in this book while they do seem to mesh well, the complexity of the characters is missed. There are some characters like Jez and Malvery who have the complexity to make great characters but I feel like the author Chris Wooding showed his hand way too early by revealing big secrets that tell the reader just who they are. I’m sure there are other secrets to these characters but with such a big reveals, it’s lost something and now the characters are just two dimensional.

Retribution Falls is a fast paced adventure story but without anything special about the characters, it just becomes an entertaining book with no surprises. Captain Frey is the most annoying, scared character I’ve met in an adventure story; I really don’t know how you can lead a group of pirates if all you want to do is run and hide. This really destroyed the book for me; while there was a hint at complex characters (up until half way through), the coward of a captain really didn’t work for me, especially in the situation they have gotten themselves into.

Adventure trying to be a conspiracy of world domination worked in parts but it wasn’t as strong as it needed to be to make this book special. The narrative and plotting was so basic that most things felt predictable and empty threats. This story continues onto two more books in the series and while entertaining there is nothing holding my interest.

A homage to Firefly that fell flat on its face, this book is a good example of what not to do; never reveal to much of the characters and don’t try to be complex in such a short period of time; it doesn’t work. I won’t be continuing the series unless I hear good reports about it. While I did enjoy reading this book, it really lacked in so many ways. The target audience wasn’t even for young adults so I’m not sure what Chris Wooding was trying to do with this book, but for me it didn’t work.