Read a NetGalley eARC
Content warning: deicide, dismemberment, murder
I had the opportunity to read the original release of Flotsam when it had been under Parvus Press. But in February 2022, the book is being re-released with Robot Dinosaur Press. There have been a few updates in the prose, but largely the story has stayed the same.
It’s the same delightful steampunk meets first contact story about a pirate ship in search of a magic ring which may or may not throw the balance of magic and godhood off in search of power.
An interview with author R.J. Theodore will be going up on release day, February 1, 2022.
Upon revisiting, and perhaps this had been part of the revision, but the world-building is so clear. Between five factions worshipping five gods, plus the literal alien invaders are very easy to keep track of, even without the map at the beginning. The world is also queer norm, with things like pronouns and different relationship structures totally standard within the world. It’s refreshing and allows for focus on the wider stakes at hand.
The characters also remain fun and complex, with greater attention given to the smaller details. Sophie remains my favorite, but the relationship between Dug, Tisker, and Talis remain so much stronger. I also greatly appreciated Hankirk’s presence as a kind of antagonist, though certainly not the big bad. The chaos in the entire last quarter of the narrative is so wonderfully calculated. Seeing all the characters come together and play to their strengths and against their mistakes is so much fun. Truly swashbuckling while taking advantage of its unique position with one foot in science fiction and the other in fantasy. It’s balanced so excellently and truly a treat.
Once again, a fun romp across a fantasy land with steampunk mechanics and frightening cosmic consequences.