Monday, September 1, 2014

Iron Sky - Dread Eagle by Alex Woolf (Scribo Publishing)

Iron Sky - Dread Eagle

Written by Alex Woolf

Illustrations by Matthew Laznicka (cover) and Mark Bergin (Foldouts)
Published by Scribo Publishing

Happy publication day to a superb steampunk thriller, "Iron Sky: Dread Eagle" by Alex Woolf.

It's 1845 and in an alternate reality, coal and steam power rule the land and skies. Vast clanking machinery has evolved beyond static engines to powerful and mobile weapons of war. As Britain engages with France in bloody conflict, a deadly new shield technology could signal defeat for Britain's forces, and ultimate victory for the aged but all-conquering Emperor Napoleon.

Alex Woolf sets out his bookworld with rich texture and tapestry, immersing the reader in a parallel universe that is as intoxicating as the choking coal-fumes issuing from every page.

The terrifying Dread Eagle (Illustration by Mark Bergin)
Our wonderful hero, 18 year old Arabella West is an Aviatrix with the Sky Sisters, Britain's elite force of fighter pilots. Arabella is drawn into a secret mission to investigate sightings of a giant steam-powered craft, both terrifying in appearance and devastating in action. Known only as "The Dread Eagle" it can tear sky platforms and planes out of the sky...

I was hooked from page 1. From page 10 onwards I began to get slightly obsessed with Alex Woolf's steam powered world and Arabella. At times feeling like a classic steampunk bodice-busting tale of derring-do, mixed royally with a good dose of sinister underplotting this is the sort of story that begs, nay PLEADS to become a series as the alt-britannia is so expertly given flesh and steel under Alex's direction.

Arabella's awesome plane, and Miles, her faithful robotic sideckick (Illustration by Mark Bergin)

The added bonus fold-out illustrations and machine blueprints to help you visualise the story brilliantly from the text makes this a novel that'd be a really fantastic starting point for your own little steampunks as they start to explore one of the standout genres in literature today. Though Charlotte's a little young to dive into Iron Sky, I started to tell her about Arabella and her brilliant robotic sidekick Miles, and imagined her one day tucking herself away with this and being instantly hooked too.

Tirailleur Class Airship. Another awesome terror of the skies!

Fantastically accomplished, lapped up with great gusto! Do not miss this book!

Check out the fabulous book trailer for Iron Sky: Dread Eagle below:

Daddy's Favourite bit: I like a novel that sets out to build an intoxicating world from the first turn of the page to the last, Alex's descriptions and pacey dialogue will draw you in and you'll want to spend a lot more time wrapped up in this brilliant book. Pop on your topper, do up your bustle, fire up your boiler and get cracking with Iron Sky: Dread Eagle, you won't be sorry!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Scribo / Salariya)

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