Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
No, not the literary kind. The story kind! Senlin has taken on a new name and with his intrepid crew, they're flying the skies, being polite, and relieving captains of their loot, and generally progressing the character arcs. Multiple character arcs this time, not just focusing on Senlin.
I'm really enjoying the ride. Senlin seems to be going mad, Adam is trying to get back in everyone's good graces, Edith is going through a mid-life crisis trying to keep Senlin's secrets and dealing with her own armless issues, and our favorite acrobat is just plain delightful.
This book is utterly steampunk.
We've gone through the effort of introducing the world and characters quite nicely in the first and now we've got a somewhat random adventure time as they try to figure out how to find Senlin's missing wife (or find enough to eat).
Yah! This book has a few interesting and creative areas, and without spoiling too much about either the nature of or the details within either, the crew is headed to a zoo and a library. And few things are quite as they seem and the circumstances are pretty fantastic. This is the best quality of these books. Creative and fantastic, with well-drawn characters, cool worldbuilding, and even a platform for a bit of a philosophical ramble. But no worries, it's just there to spice things up and make the text stand out. :)
Oh, and the upgrades and tech stuff are pretty awesome. Not to mention the purpose of the tower! :) The librarian says, "Meow." And just who is the Sphinx? There are a lot of reveals in the second half of the book and overall, it's a bit less meandering.
BUT. This is a middle book. It's kinda obvious. Must wait for more.
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