I don’t know what happened here. How a book about an alternate history steampunk WWI where one side has Clankers, and the other genetically engineered flying beasts that double as airships could be so exceptionally uninteresting and generic, I really don’t know. Also one of the MC’s is the son of the murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand. And the other is a girl who dresses as a boy! Also, also it was narrated by Alan Cumming! And yet, my mind wandered constantly while listening, and I had to force myself to finish.
Maybe I shouldn’t have done audio on this one. I only found out after I’d nearly gotten halfway through that the original hard copy has illustrations, and as wonderful as audiobooks can be, they haven’t yet managed* the feat of communicating visual art by voice.
*Although there is an amusing bit in Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance where he tries to describe all his graphs and visual aids, and ends up getting sassy.
Maybe if I would have read this years ago, before I OD’d on YA, or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Or maybe the characters were flat and uninteresting, and the story lacked anything that I found to be compelling, like the literary equivalent of tofu. You’ve got to add in flavoring to make that shit taste good. Otherwise it’s just empty calories. This felt like empty calories, and I have way too many books to read to waste my time on them.
Probably won’t be continuing the series, but never say never, I guess.