Publisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date: October 2016
Publishers Description: As the city that produces the most selium – that precious gas that elevates airships and powers strange magic – Hond Steading is a jewel worth stealing. To shore up the city’s defenses, Detan promises his aunt that he’ll recover Nouli, the infamous engineer who built the century gates that protect the imperial capital of Valathea. But Nouli is imprisoned on the Remnant Isles, an impervious island prison run by the empire, and it’s Detan’s fault.
Review: Wow, that cover art is hideous. The preface in this novel is a consortium of accolades from reviewers, both paid and not, that herald “Steal the Sky“. Which is cool but has nothing to do with “Break the Chains“. It is hard to follow up the genius rendered in Steal the Sky but O’keefe does a good job bringing beloved characters back to life for a second round.
Expectations for a follow up novel that wowed like the first, fell short. There is nothing that gathers excitement in Break as nobody goes anywhere. Detan and crew get into some scrapes and bounce around but there is no quest that generates an interest in new discoveries. The other half of this novel is about Ripka and her life in prison with minor twists and turns. Mostly Ripka flounces around from one event to another while waiting for events to culminate. The problem is you’re left waiting as well. Phrasing rears it’s ugly head with shiver, shivered and shivering used 21x.
I still really liked this novel perhaps founded on a love of the first and here is to hoping that it gets off the pot in the third.