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Skies of Gold

Skies of Gold, August 2013
The Ether Chronicles
by Zoe Archer

Avon Impulse
Featuring: Captain Fletcher Adams; Kalini MacNeil
352 pages
ISBN: 0062109162
EAN: 9780062109163
Kindle: B0092QRL6O
Paperback / e-Book
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"A female inventor and an airship captain relearn trust"

Fresh Fiction Review

Skies of Gold
Zoe Archer

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted November 23, 2013

Fantasy Urban | Novella / Short Story

Kalindi MacNeil's father was a British serviceman who was sent to India. Now she's come to the bleak island in the Hebrides where he grew up. She takes shelter in an abandoned fisherman's hut. All in this world is not the same as our own: Liverpool has been destroyed in war with Russians and Hapsburgs, while technology runs along some different lines. SKIES OF GOLD is the latest in a series called the Ether Chronicles.

Kali never learned to cook daal - there were too many devices to study and take apart. Now she's fueling a clockwork cooker with sods of peat. At night however, over the hooting of owls, she hears a mechanical humming, coming from the north of the island. When she investigates the next day, she discovers that she's not alone as she'd thought. A man stands in front of her, unafraid of her pistol, and she falls, revealing that she has a mechanical leg, normally hidden by modestly long skirts. Fletcher gives no explanations, but a few days later he shows up at her door with a brace of rabbits. He's marveling at Kali's ingenuity, and hasn't had company in a long while. Yet when the girl finds a crashed British airship on the moor, she realises that Fletcher is a Man O' War, a captain of the crafts that pursue the endless Mechanical War. What is he doing alone and lost?

Liverpool as a port city was targeted during the war and we see the destruction through the characters' eyes. Fletcher has been technically adapted to work with the airship. For all that his reactions come across as very natural and he quickly gains sympathy. Much of the story is taken up with the two lonely people getting to know each other and reliving their eventful lives. The outside world is bound to intrude however; peace can't last.

This is a Robinson Crusoe story and it's well written as such. In this we get the war at third hand; as memories rather than happening to the characters. The action only occurs late in the book. Kali is an admirable young woman, who has engineered her own prosthesis and her own survival. This story becomes an adult romance and I can only say, good for her! SKIES OF GOLD might be better for those who have read the previous works by Zoe Archer but if you enjoy this one, you'll certainly want to read more of the romantic adventure series.

Learn more about Skies of Gold

SUMMARY

Two Lonely Hearts...

Kalindi MacNeil survived the devastating enemy airship attack that obliterated Liverpool, but even her engineering skills can't seem to repair her broken heart. Seeking to put her life back together, Kali retreats to a desolate, deserted island–only to discover she's not alone. Captain Fletcher Adams, an elite man/machine hybrid, a Man O' War, crashed his battle–damaged airship into this deserted island after Liverpool, never expecting to survive the wreck. But survive he did.

One Desire...

Believing he is nothing but a living weapon, Fletcher is wary of his new–found companion–a pretty, damaged, but determined young woman. Together they are stranded on the deserted island, and it is only a matter of time until desire gets the best of both of them. Soon Kali and Fletcher find they may be just what the other needed. But a danger from beyond the island puts them to the test. Will it rip them apart or bond their hearts forever?


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