Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: The Black Lung Captain: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

Paperback - C Format
September 2010
448 pages

RETRIBUTION FALLS was fun, fast-paced, action-packed, brilliant stuff - and BLACK LUNG CAPTAIN is even better.

Darian Frey is down on his luck. He can barely keep his squabbling crew fed and his rickety aircraft in the sky. Even the simplest robberies seem to go wrong. It's getting so a man can't make a dishonest living any more.Enter Captain Grist. He's heard about a crashed aircraft laden with the treasures of a lost civilisation and he needs Frey's help to get it. There's only one problem. The craft is lying in the trackless heart of a remote island, populated by giant beasts and subhuman monsters.Dangerous, yes. Suicidal, perhaps. Still, Frey's never let commonsense get in the way of a fortune before. But there's something other than treasure on board that aircraft. Something that a lot of important people would kill for. And it's going to take all of Frey's considerable skill at lying, cheating and stealing if he wants to get his hands on it...

About the Author

Chris Wooding is a bestselling novelist who is both award-winning and critically acclaimed. He is published in 19 languages and has already signed his first Hollywood film deal. He has recorded several music albums and toured with his band in Europe. When not writing adult or YA novels he writes film scripts. He lives in London.


This is the second book in the series with Redemption Falls being the first. You’d be well advised to read Redemption Falls first as this one builds upon and expands the story and characters further. It isn’t a standalone story that you can really appreciate without the background knowledge from the first book.

The story is set in a fantasy world following the continuing adventures of Captain Darian Frey. Black Lung is humorous, dark and nasty at times and always full of action and excitement. I can see some of Johnny Depps Captain Sparrow in Darian Frey, with his wisecracks and wit. His crew, also a bunch of loveable yet despicable reprobates are also carried over from the first book. This story follows Frey and the crew being hired to recover treasure from a crashed ship in a forsaken, monster and sub-human infested jungle. Of course it's not that simple and the end up chasing the booty all over the world being robbed and robbing in turn. There are further insights into all the crew, in particular Jess and the Manes who are explored in much greater detail.

Frey’s ship, the Ketty Jay, is the main setting for the story as it travels about with its motley crew as they seek to find a sphere, finding out in the process that it is potentially very dangerous indeed.

This is a good old-fashioned adventure with some pretty violent scenes that make it unsuitable for a YA audience, who would probably find it a better read than the adult market.

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