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Publisher's Summary

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels.

But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion-to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity's ancient enemy, silent for more than 10,000 years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.

©2015 Jim Butcher (P)2015 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"Butcher writes mayhem wonderfully; the action remains taut and exciting." ( Huffington Post on Cold Days)
"The characters are well developed, Harry's trademark motormouth is still intact and the pop culture references keep flying. It's at times funny, thrilling, disturbing and sad - but you can never say it's dull." ( The Bookbag on Ghost Story)
"Butcher's storytelling is satisfying on a level that's bone deep; from his knack for crafting suspense, to the multiple reversals of the final confrontation, to the surprisingly heart-rending dénouement." (io9.com on Ghost Story)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mim
  • HUGHENDEN, Australia
  • 11-05-15

Steampunk Butcher - another voice

Loved the narrator, had just the right tone for this style of story. Clear articulation, perfect accent and dulcet on the ear. I have had to listen twice to get the world, the characters and the story straight in my minds eye. Fresh from Harry Dresden this is different all round. The world building is great and yes, the cats are spot on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • luke
  • Fukuoka, Japan
  • 09-09-16

Careful if you are a dresden fan...

What would have made The Aeronaut's Windlass better?

Characters I could care about.

What could Jim Butcher have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not my job to worry about.

Did Euan Morton do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He did a reasonable job.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Aeronaut's Windlass?

The whole book...?

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robyn
  • 06-08-16

Fun

Yay - a bit of swashbuckling fun. (I seem to have listened to a few heavy tales of late, and this was a bit of light relief).

Well crafted, with top narration. Great new world. Looking forward to the next instalment.

Couldn't fault it. Jim Butcher at his best.

(and the Cat completely stole the show for me).

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 10-09-15

Brilliant Epic Fantasy with a dollop of Sci-Fi.

Where does The Aeronaut's Windlass rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I can't in good conscience claim that it is the best book I've ever read but it's refreshingly different to most 'epic fantasy' novels. A fantastical yet somehow believable world combined with some likeable characters makes for an extremely satisfying read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't want to give away anything about the story or the characters although since reading it I have found a new appreciation for cats.

Any additional comments?

I particularly enjoyed the little nods to the Wheel of Time series. One could almost believe that this book is set several millennia after Robert Jordan's series finishes.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • CF
  • 07-20-16

Excellent performance, but poorly written.

What disappointed you about The Aeronaut's Windlass?

The writing was very average compared to Butcher's other series, and I was not completely absorbed by the story. Suitable for a background distraction, but nothing more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 11-20-15

Disappoimting

First of all I normally like Jim Butcher's books: in fact there is only one of his I have not managed to get through (Proven Guilty).

So why did I not like this book, it lacked a certain amount of originality a lot of the story has been done before in different books. For example the cowardly arrogant Commander plus the war (honor Harrington), the weavers ( the film tremors ). Even the attraction between two of the characters was similar to the Codex Alera books.

It was also very long winded and it took a great deal of effort to listen to it all the way through.

I would say I liked certain of the characters, especially Folly.

But I would only recommend die hard fans of Jim Butcher read/listen to it.

If you have not tried his books before start with the Dresden files and the far Superior Codex Alera Books

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 12-09-17

Stick with it past the confusion of the first hour

This is complex new world building and absolutely no time is spent explaining the world's 'rules' or background, the reader is just thrown in the deep end. For the first hour I was just listening to random elements that I struggled to fit into a bigger picture. But once the story gets rolling it's a surprisingly simple one, dramatically told and easy to follow. It's just that the author doesn't want to spend time explaining the world to the reader, he wants you to get to know it through the events that take place. It's an enjoyable 'pirate romp', and I'll happily read the second one when it comes out. But there is a surprisingly unquestioning quality to the loyalty to the leader, and rigidity to the 'born into power, or born into service' philosophy that is increasingly uncomfortable to go along with from American writers in a Trumpian world. It's a militaristic society where the young from the well off families join the 'guard' and are trained to kill, and we're supposed to see them as heroic. We need to believe that our protagonists are the 'good guys' and although the story is clear in its black and white morality we surprisingly begin to doubt whether we are following the right people, and I really don't think that the author wanted that doubt. Looking for a bit more grey between the black and white next time. Listened at 1:20 speed which sounded right.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • VoiceOfTheForge
  • 10-18-17

Brave New Series

This ISN'T Dresden.
This ISN'T Tavi.

This is new. This is different. This is awesome.

Some rough patches when getting to know the characters, and some misconceptions by me until about half-way through (my fault) which may have been more obvious in print to the reader.

Once again a grand narrative, with a well-paced and thought-out storyline. Some tropes, well-rendered.


Who was your favourite character and why?
At first, without a doubt - Rowl. Then after thinking about it a bit more, maybe Folly. Captain Grimm holds his own, but Butcher writes supporting casts of characters just so well!

Would you recommend other books written by the author?
Wholeheartedly yes. If you enjoyed Furies of Calderon, then you should enjoy this too.

Any other comments?
High fantasy / Steampunk crossover that others may liken to Romulus Buckle. Buckle is more 'future earth', whereas this could well be likened to a future setting for Jordan's 'Wheel of Time'.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 09-11-17

Good story, good performance.

Jim Butcher sets up an evocative world full of interesting details and intriguing mysteries that I absolutely must hear more of. I will definitely be buying the sequel.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 08-04-17

If you are a 'cat person' you might enjoy this!

I found this engaging from the start. An interesring world. Good characters. Well narrated. This was my first read of Jim Butcher. I will try some of his other works. I suspect he has cats at home...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Navinder Singh Vilkhou
  • 07-12-17

slow to start and then goes into overdrive

I wasn't sure about this for a long while. Yes, it's not Harry Dresden. But you can tell that Jim had fun writing this.... and when it changed into top gear I took my time because I wanted to enjoy it.

if you take it for it is, you might just like it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 04-08-17

Next one please

This took a bit to get used to because of a different story and a different narrator than the Dresden Files I was familiar with but after the first 30 minutes I enjoyed the change of characters and context - flying ships are always good.

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  • Ben
  • 11-18-15

A good start.

The story is engaging enough, the world new enough, the characters interesting enough, for a new series to get its hooks inside and make you wait for the next installment.
That said, the audiobook both excells and suffers for the same aspect. The narrator does an excellent job at creating the minor changes of voice that describe wonderfully a full cast of characters without sounding strained ; however for much of the book he seems to struggle with remembering which voice belongs to which character and thinks can get damned confusing if you're not paying very close attention. Somehow the cat even seems to suddenly become a Midwestern American on a few occasions.

In all I would recommend the story but with the caveat not to expect an epic or moving tale.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DarkFish
  • 05-31-16

Well worth a look, a new series to look forward to

I really liked this new fantasy offering from Jim Butcher, author of the fabulous Dresden series. I didn't find his previous fantasy series (Codex Alera) easy to get into, but this book really captured my imagination. I was disappointed when I got to the end as I want to know what happens next. A fast paced fantasy with airships!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • mitchell
  • 03-01-16

"stereotypical" cats ruined the book

cats personalities ruined the book for me, I skipped-chapters because their haughty-speech pissed me off

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Genevieve
  • 11-10-15

Awesome & action packed

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves an action packed novel with some steampunk accents thrown in. Was a bit slow to get into in the beginning but very happy I stuck with it and kept listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Vanessa Hughes
  • 11-09-15

Promising start

I love Jim Butcher's other work, and hoped this would be as good. The world is finely detailed, the characters well rounded and engaging. The only thing i had am issue with was that the story tales a very long time to get going - this is clearly the start of a series. I'll definitely be checking out the next one though, as there's a lot of depth here that promises to get really interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-19-15

A Grand New World

A very creative magic system with fantastically original characters. The action is top notch. But it is the characters that make this story so amazing.
It is.very well read. A lot of different voices as well as perfect changing of tone and volume make the story come alive.
I highly recommend giving this gem a try.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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
  • shane.slape
  • 09-19-18

Action packed

I couldn't stop listening. Adventure fantasy at it's best. I can't wait for the next book!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-16-18

Poorly written (unlike Dresden)

I absolutely adore The Dresden Files, but Jim just isn't at his best here. The writing felt so clunky that I couldn't get into it at all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen Darragh
  • 03-15-18

Brilliant and highly original

I really look forward to the rest of the series.

I enjoyed “The Dresden Files”, but this is a level above in terms of the quality of the writing and the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • micjwill
  • 07-26-17

Swashbuckling and Colourful adventure .

A fresh storyline with interesting colourful characters . Love the cat reminds me of the swashbuckling cat character played by Antonio Bandaress.
Will definately be continuing the voyage in next book .