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The Aeronaut's Windlass

The Cinder Spires, Book One
Narrated by: Euan Morton
Series: The Cinder Spires, Book 1
Length: 21 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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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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    4 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 13 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).

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • alejandra
  • 01-17-19

Not quite steampunk (aetherpunk maybe?) but great!

Absolutely enjoyed it. Fun action scenes, great female characters and cats. Never knew I needed talking card in my life, but there you go. Can't wait for the 2nd book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 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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  • 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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica Olofsson
  • 12-13-18

Absolutely brilliant!

Jim Butcher has once again kicked off a brilliant, action packed series that has you hanging on to the edge of you seat. The world and characters he has created are a fresh new take on steam punk, can't wait for more!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • 10-24-18

a good listen. long so you need to stick with it.<br />

engaging characters, interest new world. great storytelling as ever from Jim Butcher.
can on occasion be long winded in description.

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  • Phil
  • 10-01-18

One of my top audible books.

Bit to much details at times. But it was worth it. What a great book.
When my cat looks at me now I am thinking "What is he thinking"

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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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  • 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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  • 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

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-18-19

Another fantastic read from Jim Butcher!

The story was adventurous fun and easy to get into. it made integrating with the characters more personable. The flow was good and not like other stories where there was too much back story and history inserted into the first book with makes it difficult to get into the story and disrupts the flow.

Can't wait for more of this series to make it to Audible!

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  • gavin
  • 11-30-18

Excellent

Thanks Jim. Looking forward to the second book and many more to come. Awesome love everything you write.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle Dawson
  • 11-09-18

awsome

I loved this book it is absolutely fantastic can not wait for the next one

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  • 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!