Skies of Gold
Author: Zoe Archer
Rating: B+, 3.5 Stars
What I’m Talking About:
Kali is a brilliant young engineer who was severely injured in a battle in the skies above Liverpool. She decides to move to a family cabin on a remote island to give her time to heal: mentally, physically and emotionally. Planning to live in complete isolation, she’s a bit dismayed to discover someone else occupying Eilean Comhachag.
Fletcher, one of Britain’s mighty Man O’ Wars, has been alone for three months until Kali showed up. Captain of the Persephone, he went down with his airship, stranded and determined to stay that way. When the British Navy didn’t come looking for him, he realized maybe the world we be better with out another “killing machine.”
Skies of Gold is another wonderful addition to the Ether Chronicles. The story takes place in the same world as, yet mostly independent of the earlier books. This time around, our powerful war hero, Fletcher, has decided he’d rather not be in service any longer because he feels that the Man O’ Wars are perpetuating the war between the Russians and Britons. I love that when we meet Fletcher he is completely tormented and a bit mad after living alone for three months. His initial interactions with Kali feel so genuine for someone who has given up being part of society. I adored him right from the start.
Yet Kali too is a bit distressed by her recent past. She is a victim of war and broken after witnessing everyone she knows die in a ruthless battle. However, she is a strong woman, and I enjoyed how often she would do something “outside the norm.” Although they are not part of the story, her parents clearly had a marvelous influence on her life. And in spite of, or rather mostly because of their similar circumstances and histories, the pair begin a tenuous and sweet friendship. Their initial interactions are awkward and made me chuckle, yet they are genuine and refreshingly honest. They are two damaged souls finding some peace and comfort.
As their friendship deepens, I enjoyed reading about their mutual desire. They both want each other so badly, but Fletcher values her friendship even more. It is so lovely how he opens his heart and asks her to slow down so they won’t ruin their friendship. Yet when they finally give into their passion, it is completely hot and very tender. The trust Kali places in Fletcher by baring herself completely, and how honored he is by her trust, is wonderfully portrayed. My heart melted.
Once the pair finally connect completely, the conflict of whether or not to stay hidden and isolated rises to the forefront. However, the choice is taken away from the couple and they must deal with the consequences. What happens for the rest of the story is a wonderful crises that adds a lot of excitement to the plot. This leads to an intense fight that was fairly action-packed. It was also a treat to have mention of characters from the previous books.
All in all, Skies of Gold is another wonderful addition to the Ether Chronicles. It is a delightful balance of romance and action woven together with entertaining story telling. Both primary characters are enjoyable to read. The bad guy is easy to despise. I love Fletcher’s transformation from isolated scary man back to a captain and gentleman–from insecure and unsure to confident and lover. Kali and Fletcher made a wonderful pair. Neither would have been able to open up to anyone else. They are both damaged, and with friendship and the bond of mutual experiences, they find a way to live again. It is a sweet story.
3.5 stars: Liked it – recommend (B+)
About the Book:
Two Lonely Hearts…
Kalindi MacNeil survived the devastating enemy airship attack that obliterated Liverpool, but even her engineering skills can’t seem to repair her broken heart. Seeking to put her life back together, Kali retreats to a desolate, deserted island–only to discover she’s not alone. Captain Fletcher Adams, an elite man/machine hybrid, a Man O’ War, crashed his battle-damaged airship into the island after the destruction of Liverpool, never expecting to survive the wreck. But survive he did.
Believing he is nothing but a living weapon, Fletcher is wary of his newfound companion–a pretty, damaged, but determined young woman. Together they are stranded on the island, and it is only a matter of time until desire gets the best of them both. Soon Kali and Fletcher each find that they may be just what the other needed. But a danger from beyond the island puts them to the test. Will it rip them apart or bond their hearts forever?
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Series: Ether Chronicles #5
Genre: Steampunk, Romance
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author
Skies of Gold (Book 5)