Title: The Guns Above
Author: Robyn Bennis
Series Status: 1st book in the Signal Airship Series
# of pages: 351
My rating: 4/5 stars
The nation of Garnia has been at war for as long as Auxiliary Lieutenant Josette Dupre can remember – this time against neighboring Vinzhalia. Garnia’s Air Signal Corp stands out as the favored martial child of the King. But though it’s co-ed, women on-board are only allowed “auxiliary” crew positions and are banned from combat. In extenuating circumstances, Josette saves her airship in the heat of battle. She is rewarded with the Mistral, becoming Garnia’s first female captain.
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?
This novel is not one I had heard of yet but it is such an underrated read. It was a really great and quick read.
Starting with the characters which are so bad ass that it was hard not to love them. The main character is Josette, who is woman fighting in a war where men still don’t want women involved. I loved this premise because it was interesting to see Josette handle this blantant discrimination and see how well she handled it. The other major character is Bernat, who is fanciful rich guy with too much time and too little to do. He creates a great dynamic because while he’s not openly anti-women in the war he definitely shares some of those opinions. What I really loved about this character dynamic is that Josette knows everything about war and has her heart in it while Bernat struggles to even explain why they are fighting.
I also loved the overall storyline, there was a major battle at the end but surprisingly this book didn’t focus on the progression of the war within but rather the characters and their lives. It was great to see that each battle wasn’t a lead up to a major one but more realistically something that just happened and them having to deal with it. It may sound odd and I’m not describing it exactly right but it was so unique and refreshing.
Then there was the humor within this novel which made up part to be probably my favorite thing about this novel. The opening scenes where Bernat attempts to explain the war with the analogies of a stranger’s shoes was so hilarious and completely wrong that it helped set the comedic pace for the novel.
One final great thing about this novel was the lack of romance. Yes no romance! It was a such a refreshing thing to have a novel focus on story progression and characters instead of something as trivial as a romance.
Overall this book was hilarious, politically inspired, and full of so many bad ass scenes, all of which I loved.