She wants the job – just not the political flak attached. On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat – a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He’s also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision. When the Vins make an unprecedented military move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself to the top brass?
“The Guns Above is a sharp, witty Ruritanian adventure full of flintlock rifles, plumed shakos, brass buttons... and airships! Taking place in an alternate mid-nineteenth-century Europe where dirigibles ply the smoky air over battlefields and women have been grudgingly admitted to the air corps,The Guns Above takes a clear-eyed, even cynical view of the 'glories' of war, complete with blood, shit, shattered limbs, and petty squabbles among the nobility. The aerial combat is gut-clenchingly realistic, the two viewpoint characters are well-drawn and as different as can be, and the action never stops. Hard women learn compassion, soft men learn bravery, and the fate of a nation depends on one rickety airship and its stalwart crew. A winner!”―David D. Levine, author of Arabella of Mars
“An engaging gunpowder adventure with a helping of witty Noel Coward dialogue and a touch of Joseph Heller.” ―Tina Connolly, Nebula Award-nominated author of Ironskin
“Wonderfully adventurous and laudably detailed. Bennis paints airship battles so clearly you'd swear they were from memory.” ―Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
“Buckle in. The crew of the Mistral will take readers on adventures they won’t soon forget.” ―Pip Ballantine, author of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series
“Hold on to your goggles, Bennis' The Guns Above is a nonstop ride.” ―Suzanne Lazear, author of The Aether Chronicles Series
“A fast-paced military fantasy, full of colourful characters and quirky humour that had me laughing throughout. Every fan of airships should read this.” ―Marc Turner, author of Dragon Hunters
“Bennis writes a pleasing mix of banter and gritty battle scenes, combining both the adrenaline rush of combat and its horrifying results, and never indulging in too-sudden social victories that might cheapen the longstruggle against embedded prejudice.”― Publishers Weekly
An original Steampunk military novel with fantastic vision of airships and combat strategies, will have you gripping the rail and holding on tight as you endure the battles right along with the Mistral crew.
Lieutenant Josette Dupre is given command of her first airship, which is an amazing feet because she is the first woman to do so. A military General isn't too happy about this, so he sends his nephew, Lord Bernat, to be his spy and send reports. Josette has a lot to prove, to herself and her crew, that she can be a captain that deserves respect.
But does her crew respect her, or fear her?
She is a powerful force, who knows the ins and outs of flying an airship.
As the Mistral goes airborn and starts their trials to see what the ship can do, they soon find themselves in the war.
I am blown away by the depth of this novel. The details of the airship were so defined I had no problem envisioning it in my head as the battles raged. Josette possesses so much strength and drive to prove she belongs, and her combat skills were brilliant. Lord Bernat with his cockiness and aristocrat ways, made the bantering between himself and Josette fun, as their friendship started to grow slowly. The battles were vicious and gory. The characters were strong and believable. This story was action packed from beginning to end, leaving me feeling the air in my face, and smelling the smoke from battle.
A debut novel, I really hope this story continues because Josette is a force to be reckoned with.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Her apartment is within sight of Hangar One at Moffett Airfield, which was once the West Coast home to one of America's largest airships, the USS Macon.
Her debut novel, The Guns Above, comes out in May 2017.
Photo Content from Robyn Bennis