Bookshelf: Airships of Camelot

51rUMgbvT9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Airships of Camelot is Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan meets The Once and Future King.

Like Leviathan, Airships is likely to get called “Steampunk,” though that category fits loosely at best.  In some ways, this retelling of the Arthur story has more in common with Mad Max than, say, Cherie Priest.

After the devastation of the Spanish flu (yes, we’re talking early 20th century here), civilization has collapsed.  Admiral Uther Pendragon and his people live by raiding scattered communities that remain and trading their loot to the Texans for the helium their airships need to fly.

Uther’s son Arthur is a diver (read: loot-grabber) in those raiding parties, until a harpooned ship has to retreat, leaving him stranded.  On his long march home, he rescues a slave girl, Jennifer (Guenevere), who turns out not to be the savage he expected.  Other overturned Arthurian motifs (trying to avoid spoilers here) include the quad-gun X-Caliber and the Obi-Wan-like Admiral Pellinore.

The great thing about young adult literature is its ability to bend genre, and Rob Wells takes full advantage of that here.  This is an adventure tale, an Arthurian story, a post-apocalyptic survival tale, a coming of age story, a steampunk novel, and maybe-if-you-squint-just-right a dystopia, to boot.  This is gripping, white-knuckle storytelling by a master of the art.

About David

I'm a writer. This is my blog.
This entry was posted in Bookshelf and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *