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By Fire Above

A Signal Airship Novel
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Series: Signal Airship, Book 2
Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

By Fire Above is a rip-roaring new audiobook adventure from Robyn Bennis' military airship fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters”.

"All's fair in love and war", according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes "nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell".

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, undertrained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum - only to discover that when the home front turns into the front lines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

©2018 Robyn Bennis (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 09-16-18

Even Better Than The First Book

This is shaping up to be one heck of a great series. Author Bennis has merged the horrors of the Napoleonic war with steampunk to create a grounded, brutal, but wonderfully readable story. At its heart, it's the witty bon mots constantly thrown about by leads Josette and Bernat that make this so appealing. But there are great side characters as well - from Lieutenant Kember to Bernat's brother Roland - who add so much appeal to this story. Add in the action and huminity and you have some very good writing here.

Story: The Vins have seiged Josette's home town and Josette fears for her mother's safety. But getting the aristocrats to recognize and help is another matter. Yet Josette is one determined captain.

To give any more of the story would be to give too many spoilers. But for the most part, the first part of the books is Josette back in port after damage to her ship and trying to drum up help from the military to retake her home town. The second part of the book is the actual retaking - and it is very surprising where that takes the story.

As always, I love the maturity of the characters as well as the grounded realism. Anyone who has read about England and French military in the 18th and 19th century will recognize a lot of what Josette has to deal with from the aristocracy and military incompetence. People die brutally, however, and Bennis does not spare the horrors of war. But I have to appreciate how practical people can be when faced with daunting situations. Or how many are able to rationalize/justify/accept poor decisions.

I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did a good job of giving the characters personalities (almost too good a job - I almost hate Bernat most of the time!).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Norman
  • Pearl River, LA, United States
  • 09-07-19

Not like the first book

I enjoyed the first book but this one was not as entertaining. It is well written, but this book comes across as more into personalities and emotions than into deeds, and most of the personalities are seriously disturbed people whom I cannot admire. There are some cute gimmicks or clever plans to entertain to the end, but overall the cost to the characters doesn’t lead to the “happy ending “ I prefer for my escapist literature.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Startlingly good

This was an absolute delight to discover! Enjoyable, likeable characters, entertaining storyline, great adventure and interesting worldbuilding. I didn't expect much and actually felt guilty for having been so skeptical! I wish I could find more in this genre of this quality!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good story

not bad old time fantasy book. good for ride not need to follow close try both books

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

When’s the next one?

I love these books. The realism, the characters. They strike the perfect balance between humour and the horrors of war. More, please?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

an excellent book and sequel.

I love the interpersonal dinamanic between the two main characters. this is definitely a great sequel.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

make a nice trilogy we're continuing series

story was pretty good. I like the first one a little better, but a trilogy would round this out really well. but if she keeps up good ideas, a small series

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better than the first!

The series gets better and better. You learn more about the characters and care for them. I wish the two main characters would get together, though that would be weird now since they've been involved with each other's relatives.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miller
  • NAPA, CA, US
  • 01-14-19

fantastic follow up, cant wait for more

I loved this sequel, it's every bit as great as the first. and this expands in different areas such as love and family relationships just further adding to our already loveable characters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bunty
  • Burnaby, BC, Canada
  • 11-08-18

GOD CONTINUATION.

Good. Captain Josette Dupre with Lord Bernat and her crew are still going strong fighting battles and enemies in her airship, Mistral. She went to Duram by her emperor's orders to battle their enemies and win it back. She also discovered her mother's secret. A very good plot and storyline and the characters were all very interesting and well performed by Kate Reading. Robyn Bennis is an excellent writer and I hope there will be more books in this series soon.