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Book Review: Skyshaker by Dean Wilson

Book Review: Skyshaker by Dean Wilson

It's Book Review Wednesday, and I've got a pretty awesome book for you this week--the third part in a steampunk series I've already reviewed (find the reviews for Hopebreakerv and Lifemaker here…)


The Resistance takes to the clouds aboard the Skyshaker, the newly-completed airship aimed at dominating the heavens, when the land far below has become a hellish place ruled by demons. General Rommond fixes his attention on the city of Blackout, the old capital of the world, controlled by the Treasury, who are themselves controlled by the ruthless Regime. The skies above that city will no longer hide in smog; fire and fury will light up the sky. That centre of the old civilised world will either shift allegiance to the Resistance, or it will burn to the ground. skyshaker_cover Yet there are always others who will resist the attempted change of power. From sky pirates and mob bankers to the feared mechanical men of the Iron Guard, Jacob and his new family of freedom fighters will face greater challenges than they have ever faced before. As bombs drop from the sky like the iron tears of gods, there are other revelations that will shake the foundations of everyone struggling to save humanity.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Dean keeps getting better with every book. This is the best of the series, and I have no complaints regarding character development, plot, and more. The story was well written, the climax was excellent, the twists were surprising and intriguing, and the book was well done. After reading this book, I'm excited to learn what happens in the next book. The only thing that irked me slightly is the names. Now that we've got four names (Hopebreaker, Lifemaker, Skyshaker, and the soon-to-come Earthquaker) I felt like they are a wee bit heavy-handed and overdone. Of course, I understand that this is the theme of the book, but I find myself wishing for a change. However, I also realize that that is my opinion, and it in no way affects my enjoyment of the book. Pick it up, because it's definitely a solid read!

Here's a Taste:

Jacob was not keen to be back inside the metal box of a landship, that claustrophobic vessel, that roving coffin. It was dark inside, but the sunlight pierced the city's smog, and so he could easily see where Rommond roamed. Not that it was necessary. The target was pretty obvious. The target of the Iron Guard was pretty obvious too; it was everybody else. The streets were eerily silent. Few dared take on this mythic foe. They cowered in their houses. Perhaps those who opposed the Resistance hoped that the Iron Guard would liberate the city, restore some order, and then the people could emerge again without fear. But from what Rommond had told him, Jacob knew that the Iron Guard were indiscriminate. If they had been sent to Blackout, it was not to liberate; it was to annihilate. “What a mess we're in,” Jacob said to the gunner who had joined him. She did not reply. He did not even know her name. She kept her focus on the gun, on the enemy. The silence got to Jacob. He needed something to distract him from his thoughts, from his mounting fears. A little joke might have meant nothing to some, but it meant everything to him. Then he saw the mechanical men for the first time. They had a human shape, but it was augmented with machinery, with cogs and pistons, with pumps and pulleys, with wires and tubes. Natural anatomy was replicated and replaced with an artificial equivalent, and so the creatures were “enhanced.” The humanity was drained from them, and all that was left was a cold-hearted killer, with guns for arms, and a crosshair for eyes. Jacob shuddered as he saw them, but his gunner did not shudder; she rattled off her gunfire, which knocked down some of the iron monsters, but did not appear to kill them. Jacob felt the gun that Rommond had given him resting in its holster on his belt, augmented with its own machinery. He could not use it from here, and he did not have many diamond-coated bullets to use. So he drove into the mechanical men, knocking them down, crushing them beneath the heavy treads of the landship. Yet still they seemed to survive all this, and many sat or stood up and began to repair what damage had been caused. Others fired at the four landships, which whizzed through the streets, drawing the attention of the hundreds of machine men who emerged from the Black Barge. Rommond drew much of their gunfire. It seemed they somehow knew which of the landships he was in. Perhaps it was how he drove, or the tactics he used to weave in and out of them, inviting them to fire on their fellow men, to kill their own as they tried desperately to kill him. He could not turn as sharply in the Menacer Mark II landship as he could in the Hopebreaker, and the hull was not as thick, so it was soon riddled with bullet holes, which were clearly visible to the drivers of the other vehicles. Rommond led them back towards the Skyshaker, luring out the machine men, who marched in mechanical rhythm, with the percussion of gunfire enhancing their methodical beats. When they approached the Skyshaker, Taberah was ready for them. She still sat in her glass bubble, but she looked as grim and determined as ever, and her fingers were itching on the triggers. Dozens of the enemy were gunned down, but they did not yet die. They struggled on the ground, with parts blown away, with wires disconnected, with their steam pumps no longer generating any steam. The Copper Vixens raced over to the wounded and aimed the guns that Rommond had designed, and put those poor creatures, or those poor machines, out of their mechanical misery. The first wave had been defeated, and the landship drivers regrouped beside the Skyshaker, where they witnessed the pile of bodies, and the pile of parts, that they had left in their wake. Jacob popped his head outside and wiped his brow; the heat inside was killing him, but it was better than what the Iron Guard would do. The Resistance savoured this moment of reprieve, this temporary delay of their iron punishment, but their rest was brief. A second and a third flood of figures emerged from the Black Barge, much larger than the first. “They've brought more men!” Alakovi shouted. “So be it,” Rommond said. “When you bring more wood, you make a bigger fire.”

About the Author:

Dean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001. He is the author of the Children of Telm epic fantasy trilogy and the Great Iron War steampunk series. Dean also works as a journalist, primarily in the field of technology. He has written for TechEye, Thinq, V3, VR-Zone, ITProPortal, TechRadar Pro, and The Inquirer. Find the book on Amazon US: As well on Amazon UK: Visit his Website: Connect with him via Facebook: Tweet at him: Google+: