Such interesting ideas but, in my opinion, poorly executed. My biggest complaints are (1) the voices of the VERY DIFFERENT characters didn't vary enough one from another (i.e., the robot king had the same voice as the 12-year-old boy with fey powers who had the same voice as the 17-year-old girl on the run from everyone....) and (2) the "action scenes" had the same tone as anything else, including the (extensive) expository portions.
It's about a revolution and a war in a steampunk universe (olden timey/victorian, but technologically advanced), where the hope of the future may rest with a 17-year-old girl who is being hunted down by elite assassins for to-be-discovered reasons and a 12-year-old boy who has been framed for the murder of his family and several other officials and is also being hunted down by elite assassins. Accompanying the girl are various members of the race of the "people" (i.e., independently thinking and self-governed robots, essentially), and accompanying the boy is his uncle's friend, the disreputable Stave, who is also a member of an elite government military operation (the Court of the Air).
This book had such interesting ideas, but, in my opinion, they were very poorly executed. My biggest complaints are (1) the voices of the VERY DIFFERENT characters didn't vary enough one from another (e.g., the robot king had the same voice as the 12-year-old boy with fey powers who had the same voice as the 17-year-old girl on the run from everyone....), and (2) the "action scenes" had the same tone as anything else, including the (extensive) expository portions.
***Additional plot information: The idea of the book is interesting enough... it's Steampunk through-and-through, where fantasy meets the gritty Victorian underworld meets an entire race of robots. 17-year-old Molly, a ward of the state, is on the run from professional assassins who have already butchered her fellow orphans in an effort to find her; 12-year-old Oliver, living with his uncle, is also on the run from professional assassins who appear to be working with or for the government, who have already butchered several officers and his family and framed him for the murder. Molly and Oliver each have unique (supernatural) gifts that have been undeveloped and unrealized so far in their short lives, but those seeking to exterminate them are afraid of what they could become.
Enter the Steammen (robots), a Court of the Air wolftaker (like a superspy in a super-secret organization, but with a dark past), and races of all varieties, along with a long-standing civil war, a monarchy in which the monarchs have less than no power and are ridiculed by the public, and these god-like monster-like beings who have an interest in the happenings, and you have Court of the Air. Very creative, but the pace was rather slow. If you can get through it, I think the information is thought-provoking.. it's just a bit of a slog.***
The book is creative and has great breadth. I understand the other books in the series are better. I haven't yet decided if I will read the 2nd (which I do own)... but if so, it will be a while from now...
TWO AND A HALF of five stars.
**I've also read a few library books recently:
J: A Novel It just wasn't really good. I didn't think it delivered what it promised, though I know others have really enjoyed it. Overall, I found it depressing, and I was disappointed. (It's a sort of adult dystopian tale, where the thing lost is race-identifiers. Everyone has been re-named and many have been relocated. It is also perhaps a bit of a love story. But just a very depressing one.)
Just a sweet little tale about a dog and his adventures. And though I don't typically enjoy books with animal protagonists, this one was really enjoyable and I'm glad I received the recommendation!
I really really enjoyed this. It's quick (I read it in the bath) and surreal and, yes, I'll say it, Kafka-esque. But it is really well done. And though it seems it should be rather depressing, it somehow isn't. It's somehow light and ... even funny, without being irreverent to the topic at issue (which, maybe isn't entirely clear, but certainly deals with mental illness).
I have managed to be one of those people who knew nothing about it! And I read a lot of horror growing up! I really enjoyed this one ... it's both subtle and in your face, direct and sneaky, and definitely creepy and disturbing.