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Summary

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels.

But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion - to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity's ancient enemy, silent for more than 10,000 years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.

©2015 Jim Butcher (P)2015 Penguin

Critic reviews

"Butcher writes mayhem wonderfully; the action remains taut and exciting." ( Huffington Post on Cold Days)
"The characters are well developed, Harry's trademark motormouth is still intact and the pop culture references keep flying. It's at times funny, thrilling, disturbing and sad - but you can never say it's dull." ( The Bookbag on Ghost Story)
"Butcher's storytelling is satisfying on a level that's bone deep; from his knack for crafting suspense, to the multiple reversals of the final confrontation, to the surprisingly heart-rending dénouement." (io9.com on Ghost Story)

What listeners say about The Aeronaut's Windlass

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun

Yay - a bit of swashbuckling fun. (I seem to have listened to a few heavy tales of late, and this was a bit of light relief).

Well crafted, with top narration. Great new world. Looking forward to the next instalment.

Couldn't fault it. Jim Butcher at his best.

(and the Cat completely stole the show for me).

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Epic Fantasy with a dollop of Sci-Fi.

Where does The Aeronaut's Windlass rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I can't in good conscience claim that it is the best book I've ever read but it's refreshingly different to most 'epic fantasy' novels. A fantastical yet somehow believable world combined with some likeable characters makes for an extremely satisfying read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't want to give away anything about the story or the characters although since reading it I have found a new appreciation for cats.

Any additional comments?

I particularly enjoyed the little nods to the Wheel of Time series. One could almost believe that this book is set several millennia after Robert Jordan's series finishes.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Stick with it past the confusion of the first hour

This is complex new world building and absolutely no time is spent explaining the world's 'rules' or background, the reader is just thrown in the deep end. For the first hour I was just listening to random elements that I struggled to fit into a bigger picture. But once the story gets rolling it's a surprisingly simple one, dramatically told and easy to follow. It's just that the author doesn't want to spend time explaining the world to the reader, he wants you to get to know it through the events that take place. It's an enjoyable 'pirate romp', and I'll happily read the second one when it comes out. But there is a surprisingly unquestioning quality to the loyalty to the leader, and rigidity to the 'born into power, or born into service' philosophy that is increasingly uncomfortable to go along with from American writers in a Trumpian world. It's a militaristic society where the young from the well off families join the 'guard' and are trained to kill, and we're supposed to see them as heroic. We need to believe that our protagonists are the 'good guys' and although the story is clear in its black and white morality we surprisingly begin to doubt whether we are following the right people, and I really don't think that the author wanted that doubt. Looking for a bit more grey between the black and white next time. Listened at 1:20 speed which sounded right.

2 people found this helpful

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Not quite steampunk (aetherpunk maybe?) but great!

Absolutely enjoyed it. Fun action scenes, great female characters and cats. Never knew I needed talking card in my life, but there you go. Can't wait for the 2nd book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CF
  • 20-07-16

Excellent performance, but poorly written.

What disappointed you about The Aeronaut's Windlass?

The writing was very average compared to Butcher's other series, and I was not completely absorbed by the story. Suitable for a background distraction, but nothing more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 20-11-15

Disappoimting

First of all I normally like Jim Butcher's books: in fact there is only one of his I have not managed to get through (Proven Guilty).

So why did I not like this book, it lacked a certain amount of originality a lot of the story has been done before in different books. For example the cowardly arrogant Commander plus the war (honor Harrington), the weavers ( the film tremors ). Even the attraction between two of the characters was similar to the Codex Alera books.

It was also very long winded and it took a great deal of effort to listen to it all the way through.

I would say I liked certain of the characters, especially Folly.

But I would only recommend die hard fans of Jim Butcher read/listen to it.

If you have not tried his books before start with the Dresden files and the far Superior Codex Alera Books

5 people found this helpful

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Really interesting though lacks worldbuilding.

This book is a bit of an Oddity. While 99% of tech is aether powered not steam the navel combat is very impressive and thought out. My only real issue it the distinct lack of worldbuilding, the book throws you into this world with no explanation and it really needs it. You have part cat people (I think) and people literally able to seak cat. Your given piecemeal information and i feel that is a shame. All in all a good book and an excellent performance, if anymore get writen I'll be interested.

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Absolutely brilliant!

Jim Butcher has once again kicked off a brilliant, action packed series that has you hanging on to the edge of you seat. The world and characters he has created are a fresh new take on steam punk, can't wait for more!!

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  • Jo
  • 24-10-18

a good listen. long so you need to stick with it.

engaging characters, interest new world. great storytelling as ever from Jim Butcher. can on occasion be long winded in description.

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One of my top audible books.

Bit to much details at times. But it was worth it. What a great book. When my cat looks at me now I am thinking "What is he thinking"

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  • Mim
  • 05-11-15

Steampunk Butcher - another voice

Loved the narrator, had just the right tone for this style of story. Clear articulation, perfect accent and dulcet on the ear. I have had to listen twice to get the world, the characters and the story straight in my minds eye. Fresh from Harry Dresden this is different all round. The world building is great and yes, the cats are spot on.

3 people found this helpful

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  • luke
  • 09-09-16

Careful if you are a dresden fan...

What would have made The Aeronaut's Windlass better?

Characters I could care about.

What could Jim Butcher have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not my job to worry about.

Did Euan Morton do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He did a reasonable job.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Aeronaut's Windlass?

The whole book...?

1 person found this helpful