Pirates of the Relentless Desert

The night sky above the Relentless Desert gave birth to a new cloud.

The follow up on The Fledging of Az Gabrielson. It’s a year later and both sides have to get used to the other being around. Of course there are parties that disagree with how life has changed. Some of them have even turned to piracy because of it.

Was the first book more centered around the world of the Airborn, this time there is more world-building of the cities on earth. There is more variety in people’s characters (although a majority of the featured ones is still called ‘roughnecks’) and more cities besides Cassie’s hometown.

Az is trying to adjust to his new life as a part of authority, while Cassie is trying to keep her family and their business together. The previous mentioned pirates cock this up with angry attacks on the Groundborn. Other conspiracies and such make sure that there is little time for breathing and adjusting. Adventure is where it’s at.

Sometimes Pirates of the Relentless Desert works a little bit too hard to make sure that the reader won’t be bored, but the characters are charming and/or entertaining enough to not be bothered by it. A solid sequel.

Pirates of the Relentless Desert, Jay Amory, Gollancz 2007

The Fledging of Az Gabrielson

The airbus touched down outside the Museum of Arts, Sciences and History and opened its doors to let out thirty students from High Haven senior school.

The fun YA just keeps on coming. This time lodged in a future world where the human race split in two: the Airborn, living in cities high in the sky, supported by huge columns. And the Groundlings, the unlucky few that didn’t evolve into winged humans. Protagonist Az is Airborn, but born without wings, which makes him little better than a Groundling. Good thing that the odd one out usually ends up being the hero.

The Groundlings provide the Airborn with coals, wood, and other things you can’t find kilometers up in the air. But things are changing, less provision is coming up and Az is asked to go down and look around. Of course he discovers more than the authority told him to, he ends up in a revolution and has to run to save his world.

A nicely written world. I can always appreciate proper world-building and although some of the world below reminded me of Mortal Engines, Jay Amory quickly puts you into the thick of it. Light and bright above, dark and drab below. A challenge to put such worlds together.

As first part of a series it’s unclear if Amory will manage to keep the combination of world-building and fun characters up, but even as an one-off, The Fledging of Az Gabrielson is an entertaining read.

The Fledging of Az Gabrielson – The Clouded World Book One, Jay Amory, Orion 2006