The TL:DR; version of this review is: This book is fun and you should buy it and enjoy it.
Let’s start this review with two big fat disclaimers. Xero Reynolds is a friend of mine (who I know solely through the internet, so he might be a complete madman) which by definition biases my opinion in awesome ways.
Secondly I’m not a professional reviewer nor do I have any aspirations to be one. I consume entertainment for my own entertainment and if I encounter something I like I share it with others. (that’s four I’s in one sentence for those keeping track)
The above leads us to: Rhyme of the Golden Aegis book 1 of the Archetype trilogy which you can buy from the convenience of your own home.
The concept of steampunk is always a finnicky one. In general the idea is that the victorian age never ended and people are using airships, dress up, using clockwork things, and often electricity doens’t exist.
It’s often an romantisized style that exists for the benefit of an interesting setting.
Xero took a whole different route for his book. He fleshed out an entire world where the concept of airships and an aerial navy makes sense. It has a history that feels real and feels like it probably would have happened given the circumstances.
This history isn’t dumped on you in chunks of exposition but revealed as the story progresses. Which makes it far easier to pick up as it goes along.
The main story centers around a freelance airship crew that locates a lifepod from the Golden Aegis, from there they get wrapped up in all kinds of trouble while trying to stay alive.
The crew is funny and works together in a great way, it’s very akin the Firefly in their interactions.
The story itself however is nothing like firefly, mostly because of the all the airships.
All in all I was highly entertained and had serious problems putting the book down as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It being selfpublished there were a few typos, but they couldn’t distract me from the fun adventure that was going on.
There’s all sorts of things I could discuss, but it’s way more fun to read the book. There’s no need for me to deconstruct it for you.
So what are you waiting for? Go buy and read The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis.