Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis

By Fire Above
(Signal Airship #2)
Robyn Bennis
Release: May 15, 2018
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"All's fair in love and war," according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, "Nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell."

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up the nation's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum―only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

One of my favorite under the radar books last year was The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis so it's not a stretch to say that I've been anxiously awaiting the sequel, By Fire Above. It was everything I wanted it to be. It started up a bit slow because Josette needed a crash course in royal politics from Lord Bernat (aka Bernie) but it quickly morphed into the fast-paced adventure novel I was anticipating as the crew of the Mistral take part in a plan to retake the city of Durum. I was on the edge of my seat reading the last half of this book. It about gave me a heart attack but I couldn't put it down!

There's a lot of praise I could heap on this book because it really was brilliant but the thing that pleased me the most was how much the characters have grown in such a short period of time. Josette is finally becoming comfortable in her role as the captain and it’s obvious to why the crew of the Mistral trusts and willingly follows her. I think the one character whose arc surprised me the most was Bernie. I enjoyed his character in the first book but I adored him in this book! He's still a bit foppish and ridiculous but he is the perfect foil to Josette's character! And can we talk about the banter between those two? Because OMG! This book has some A+ banter. Bernie totally stole the show for me this time around.

This series is the best kind of military fantasy and I've enjoyed the heck out of it! It's the perfect balance of steampunk and military adventure in my eyes. While I still enjoyed the science of the airships and the descriptions of the tech, my favorite part of this book was the airship battles. They were brutal and chaotic and absolutely perfectly paced. They are seriously perfect. The combination of interesting characters, Napoleonic warfare, and airships made for a great story and I'm intrigued to see what will happen next! I need a book three so badly!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  4 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

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