The Black Lung Captain

The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #2)The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m afraid I abandoned this one around 30%, but I’m leaving it in the “maybe I will return to this” pile. It seemed like it should be right up my alley. I was looking for a lighter read with some memorable characters, and a story about some swashbuckling air pirates sounded perfect.

The characters were memorable, if a little bit cheesy, but there was just a little bit TOO much effort put into making them “whacky”. That’s fine. There was plenty of lighthearted humour to appreciate and I can handle rolling my eyes every now and then as long as it’s reasonably entertaining in the meantime. But then I found myself slogging through page after page of exposition. The bits of action that happened in between were interesting, and I kept waiting for the story to get rolling, but then we’d scene cut to another character and sit through pages of inner monologue as they brooded about their past. It was really starting to get exhausting because the book kept pausing the plot to do this and I didn’t really care, yet.

I realized shortly after I started it that I had inadvertently skipped the first book. I did a quick peek and it seemed like the stories were standalone, so I didn’t bother to go back and find the first one first. As a result, I was not already invested in the characters when wading into this one, which might be part of the problem. But… the problem is that there’s TOO MUCH exposition, not too little.  Especially since it opens with the main character looking in a mirror and describing himself.  UGH.  There is a chance that there is a more gradual introduction to the characters in the first book, which would lend the infodumps in this one a bit more value, but if you’re checking this review to see if it’s okay to start midway through the series, my advice is to stop now and find the first one instead.

This is the passage that made me quit:
“He watched the shuttle descend with a deep sense of trepidation. She would be on it, of course. The woman he’d loved once, back when they were both young and didn’t know any better. The woman he’d deserted on their wedding day. The woman who’d tried to kill herself in her grief and only succeeded in killing the baby inside her. His baby.”

Like being hit in the face with a brick wrapped in exposition.

I didn’t hate it and I think it has some potential if you can hang with it, but the writing just felt a little too unpolished for me. My habit of reviewing books might be turning me into a writing snob :( *weeps bitterly*

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About tagracat
I am not a professional, I don't get paid to review shit, I am just opinionated and I seem to have some sort of disorder that results in spewing my opinions onto the internet. I enjoy writing long-winded posts about things and sometimes I like to pretend people want to read them, so a blog seemed an appropriate place to stuff it. But mostly I just like writing about things.

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