Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of the Flying City-Jared Axelrod and Steve Walker (illustrator)

The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of the Flying City

Jared Axelrod and Steve Walker (illustrator)

Tor, May 8 2012, $25.99

ISBN: 9780765331304

Amperstam is unique as the only flying city. The city’s leader is the powerful Provost who runs an extremely tight ship. His most persistent pest is a street urchin turned crusading journalist; Ashe the young female reporter has a knack of exposing scandals and secrets on her one page rag The Lurker’s Guide that the Provost and other leaders prefer remaining buried and away from public outrage and scrutiny.

However, her latest clandestine activity has led Ashe to uncover the darkest secret of her city. Horrified she now knows the source of what enables Amperstam to fly. If she reports what she knows to the Amperstammer residents, her city will almost certainly be grounded; if she does not Ashe could not live with herself. The city leaders realize what she has learned as they conclude she is no longer an irrelevant irritant since instead of just embarrassing them she could cost them their power and that is unacceptable.

This is a fascinating graphic steampunk thriller starring an intrepid crusading reporter who is a Davidette going up against Goliath and his horde. The first section sets much of the city laws, the Amperstammer social order and customs, and a ton of characters introduced in machine gun style. Once established, overwhelmed readers will enjoy this fast-paced cat and mouse dark tale made grimmer by the B&W illustrations.

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