Trou­ble at t’pit

SFX - - Reviews - Miriam McDon­ald Me­gan O’Keefe is also a pro­fes­sional soap­maker. Buy her wares at http://

re­leased 7 Jan­uary 640 pages | Pa­per­back/ebook Au­thor Me­gan e O’Keefe Pub­lisher an­gry robot

Too of­ten genre nov­els are weighed down with de­tail, which makes Steal The Sky really refreshing. It’s set in a desert city, next to a vol­cano be­ing mined for “selium”, a lighter-than-air sub­stance, and there’s an em­pire loom­ing in the back­ground, but you’re never fed masses of in­for­ma­tion on so­ci­ety, cus­toms or what­ever. Me­gan O’Keefe has clearly put a lot of ef­fort into world­build­ing, but she doesn’t feel the need to show it all off; ev­ery­thing you need to know, you learn through the char­ac­ters.

They, too, are kept to a min­i­mum, the main ones be­ing watch cap­tain Ripka, who’s search­ing for rogue shapeshifter Pelkaia, who com­pels itin­er­ant scal­ly­wags Tibs and De­tan (the lat­ter ac­tu­ally a fugi­tive lord) to help her take re­venge on the power-hun­gry, ex­iled Com­modore Thra­tia. As their schemes in­ter­twine, you dis­cover more about them and their world, but never at the ex­pense of the tightly-writ­ten, en­gag­ing story.

There’s plenty of ac­tion, but the pol­i­tics and in­trigue are also neatly done and be­liev­able, as what starts out as a sim­ple act of re­venge un­cov­ers plots that could af­fect an en­tire con­ti­nent. A really en­joy­able read.

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