One of my favorite parts about reading a well-written book series is being able to pick up right where I left off, without having to re-read other books to try to figure out what is going on. I read the last of the Great Iron War series books, Skyshaker, back in the winter, and got to jump right back into the world of Altadas with Landquaker without a preamble or refresher course. Wilson's books are fairly fast paced and keep you on the edge of your seat, constantly wondering what's going to happen next (because when you go up against the Iron Emperor, there's bound to be a few obstacles and enemies). Landquaker earns itself 4 out of 5 stars and fills me with anticipation for the next in the series.
From the Publisher:
The Resistance has barely nursed its wounds from the recapture of Blackout, and it is now looking to another, tougher target: the massive steam-powered railway gun known as the Landquaker. They call the vast railroad the Iron Wall, and that mounted barrel is its only sentry. It does not need another.
Blackout was a sitting duck, but the Landquaker is a moving target, and not only one that shoots back, but one that shoots first. The Resistance turns to old allies and new friends, from the land-loving tribes to the land-roving biker gangs. It will need every soldier it can muster.
The Landquaker was designed with a singular purpose: a monstrous gun to hold back a multitude of monsters. Except this time the multitude mans that weapon, and in its hands the land is not the only thing that will quake.
What a world, what a world! There is just always trouble for our band of rebels, but you can't help but know that they are going to find a way to pull through. One of my favorite parts of Wilson's writing is the relationship he builds between the reader and his characters. They are not only fighting in a war, but they are fighting their own battles as well. Taberah dealing with motherly duties, Brooklyn and Rommond trying to repair what the Regime has taken from them, Jacob just chugging along, finding his niche among the Resistance fighters. I'll admit, I didn't really like some of the characters when I first started Hopebreaker oh so long ago. After getting to know them more, I can't help but feel for them, and want nothing for the best for all of them (especially Whistler, he's just so young and innocent and naïve in some ways). I actually get anxious when somebody is in mortal danger, which happens a lot in these novels.
I really enjoyed the feel of Landquaker. The plot had a very traditional feel; fighting to take back something that was stolen and used for evil. Dean Wilson makes this plot his own, both modernizing and traditionalizing it in a way that only a talented author and a steampunk novel can do. Throwing in the tribes and a more spiritual subplot was an interesting tactic, and I'm still kind of working out if this worked for me, but overall I truly enjoyed getting to read another story, and getting to meet another instrument of war in the Great Iron War. Can't wait to see what Worldwaker has in store!
- Justin :)