My Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Full Review: http://www.twimom227.com/2012/09/review-skies-of-fire-by-zoe-archer.html
Our action-filled story starts with our brave Man O’War Captain, Christopher, and his ship, Demeter, waged in a sky battle with enemy airships. It’s Her Majesty’s Royal Navy against the Hapsburg (aka Huns) troops, and the odds are against the British. After successfully hiding from the enemy, Christopher notices a distress signal coming from a nearby village. The crew prepares for and makes a daring rescue of the British Intelligence officer who was ambushed while undercover. The agent is none other than the captain’s long lost love, Louisa.
Right at the start of the book, the reader is tossed into heavy action. The scenes are intense and exciting, leaving little room for long, purposeful world-building. Instead, the reader enjoys an almost “on-the-job training,” learning bits and pieces of this steampunk world through the storyline. It’s extremely effective for allowing the reader to get caught up in the plot and become emotionally invested in the characters. Once the initial action quiets some, Ms. Archer takes time to fill in bits and pieces of her world. For example, in the beginning we are told that Christopher is a Man O’War ... a man who has been physically altered with metal plates of telumium implants. These implants power the batteries and ship. But it isn’t until later that we learn more about what it really means to become a Man O’War. The concept grabbed my attention in the beginning, and the further explanations later quenched my thirst for more information.
With Louisa on board and Christopher determined to help her with her mission to destroy a hidden munitions operation deep in enemy territory, the pair must confront their past so that the mission can be successful. The close quarters, coupled with their possible and probable deaths while attempting this mission, heighten the tension and emotions - creating an ideal situation for some HOT and needy reunion sex! It also allows for the couple to quickly get over issues and move forward.
Overall, I found Skies of Fire an enjoyable read. It is a lovely romance with an historical setting and a steampunky feel. There are equal parts wartime spy thriller, action-adventure, and love story. The book has a great tempo - moving seamlessly between the interpersonal stories and romance to the intensity of wartime. For those looking to test out the steampunk waters, or if you just want an entertaining story, I recommend Skies of Fire.