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Review by Riley

About Flotsam

A fantastical steampunk first contact novel that ties together high magic, high technology, and bold characters to craft a story you won’t soon forget.

Captain Talis just wants to keep her airship crew from starving, and maybe scrape up enough cash for some badly needed repairs. When an anonymous client offers a small fortune to root through a pile of atmospheric wreckage, it seems like an easy payday. The job yields an ancient ring, a forbidden secret, and a host of deadly enemies.

Now on the run from cultists with powerful allies, Talis needs to unload the ring as quickly as possible. Her desperate search for a buyer and the fallout from her discovery leads to a planetary battle between a secret society, alien forces, and even the gods themselves.

Talis and her crew have just one desperate chance to make things right before their potential big score destroys them all.

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Review of Flotsam

Flotsam has one of the strangest non-dream settings I’ve experienced in books. The planet Peridot underwent a catastrophic event, known as the Cataclysm, that resulted in the world being split into pieces that are loosely held together by the power of the Nexus. Each piece is an island, floating in space. One assumes that the Nexus maintains the loose configuration, atmosphere and gravity that allows the islands to support thriving populations.  Oh, and the gods live within the Nexus and seem to have some responsibility for creating life, maintaining the balance of the Nexus and controlling all magic (alchemy).

Most of the action takes place in the skies on board the Wind Sabre, an airship, lending the steampunkish feeling. Though the presence of gods and magic/alchemy also give it a fantasy feeling. The non-earth space-like setting gives it a scifi feel. Plus there are aliens.  So it is hard to define the genre of Flotsam.  But, since I enjoy steampunk, fantasy and scifi, I really savored the combination.

There are many vividly described locations throughout Peridot that are part of the story.  I appreciated the author’s descriptions of all these fascinating places.

I loved that the adventure never, NEVER slowed down. Will Captain Talis next decision be a good one, or will she get her crew into even more trouble?  Spoiler – there was a lot of leaping from the frying pan into the fire.  Followed by more leaping…..

There are plenty of colorful characters in this book.  The least well known major character is the lead, Talis, as only parts of her story come out.  But this is a series.  There will be opportunities for Talis’ secrets to come out in a future story.  Throughout Flotsam, you get to know about the crew of Wind Saber as you learn how Dug, Sophie, and Tisker came to be part of the crew.  An there Talis’ ex-boyfriend, Hankirk, who is stupid and dangerous.  And, I suspect, he will not go away easily.

There was a cliffhanger ending, which I am not fond of.  I really liked this book, so Flotsam gets 4 stars – minus one star for the cliffhanger.

Through NetGalley, I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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