Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lifemaker and Skyshaker by Dean Wilson

This post is so long overdue I can't even believe it, but I guess better late than never? Dean Wilson, you are a man of infinite patience. I received these books for free in exchange for an honest review, and I am pleased to deliver on that with my 4 and 5 star reviews of Lifemaker and Skyshaker, respectfully.

My favorite part about the world of literature is that it's not just one world, it's an infinite number of worlds. Dean Wilson is a master at creating these worlds, and making the reader feel like he/she is in that world as they turn the pages. The Great Iron War series started off with a bang, and it's clear that Wilson is just going to keep the momentum going until it reaches its conclusion. Lifemaker and Skyshaker are volumes 2 and 3 in this series, and deliver on the first book's virtual guarantee that every chapter will be a shock. I never really know where Jacob will end up next, and the book titles only give away so much. I'm greatly enjoying learning about the conflicts between the Regime and the Resistance, and can't wait to find out just what happens next.

From the Publisher:

The Regime is on the hunt, forcing the Resistance to take refuge aboard the Lifemaker, an advanced submarine that houses a special cargo: a handful of women who can still give birth to human children. 

To evade the Regime's own submersibles, all parties must work together, but tensions are high, and not everyone on board is looking out for the greater good. 

As they descend into the deeps, they quickly learn that not all monsters work for the Regime. 


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. 

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 thoughts:
When I first started the series, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Having read Wilson's other works, I knew that I was going to enjoy the book, and I am pleased to say I continue to be impressed with his ability to draw me in to a story and keep me guessing until the final page. Jacob, Taberah, Whistler, and the other characters in this series are diverse, layered, and complex creatures, and it is difficult to tell if there are any clear protagonists or antagonists. I initially disliked Rommond, and am forced to eat my words as I learn more and more about what motivates his actions. Now, he's one of my favorite characters, but with plotlines as complex as those in this series, it's hard to say whether that will be the case in the next book. I love learning more about the relationships Taberah has with everyone on board, as it seems that her relationships and interactions with others are as varied as always. 

I still have a lot of questions that I'm sure will be answered in the next book, and am eager to learn more about the Regime and the Resistance before Jacob became involved in the conflicts. The world Wilson has created is full of intrigue, and I find myself as interested in the Regime as I do in the Resistance. What I like about this series is that although it is clearly a steampunk series, with elements of steampowered machinery in a dystopian era, there is also a sci-fi/fantasy element, in that humans are no longer born, and demons run rampant in the Regime. I am so eager to learn more about this, as I've never seen or read a book/series quite as unique as this.

In short, Lifemaker and Skyshaker are two more fantastic additions to the works of Dean Wilson. I am so excited to read the next installment of the Great Iron War series, Landquaker, due out in April of this year (or so Amazon leads me to believe). Looking forward to more of the same amazing character development and plot that Wilson has spoiled his readers with throughout the series so far :)

- Justin

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