The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Guest: The Black Lung Captain Review

I came across Chris Wooding last year when a friend of mine leant me another of Woodings books The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray. From there onward I’ve been addicted to every book I’ve read of his and can safely say that he’s now my favorite author. So when the new Ketty Jay book came out a couple of weeks ago, I really couldn’t resist in writing my own personal review for it.

Of course, everything I say and state is my own personal opinion. And it may also contain some very minor spoilers for the storyline.


The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding

The Black Lung Captain is the second book of the series about the crew of the Ketty Jay. As with Chris Woodings first book in the series Retribution Falls, this book whisks you from the real world and hauls you into the adventures of the crew of the Ketty Jay.

I’ll be honest intially I was worried about this book. As with many sequels I knew that it could turn out to be a disapointment. Rarely are sequels ever as good as their predessors, but I shouldn’t have had any doubt with The Black Lung Captain. It’s just as good, if not better than Retribution Falls.

The storyline follows Darian Fray and his crew as they take up an offer to help Captain Grist find a lost aircraft. Yet as events unfold the stakes keep on getting higher and higher, much bigger than Retibutiom Falls ever was, which I think is one of the reasons this book is even better.

I love a good ol’ “saving the world” plot after all!

Another thing I loved about this storyline was there was a lot more romance in it. Although I love the detailed action packed exciting scenes, I think that it was the more tender moments that really made this book all the more brilliant for me. Some of these tender and more dramatic moments were crucial for the characters to come out and show who they really were, and that made them much more real and alive than quite frankly I’ve ever encountered in a book before. I really connected and related to each character during these tender/sad/dramatic and thus, wound up loving them more so than I had done before.

From a writers point of view I thought the prose flows beautifully on the page. Ive noticed in many of the books I’ve read from Wooding that his descriptions of the environment, the happenings in the scene or even just what the characters are like are so detailed that it really makes it seem as though it’s real. Yet when you look at it, the setances are shorter than you think and I’ve come to realise that he manages to write them in the shortest way possible.

He’s definetly an idol for me as a writer and if I ever manage to write a book half as good as Black Lung Captain I’ll the happiest person alive because this book is full of another fun adventure. It’s a perfect for a science fiction fans summer read!

[Cybaria’s Note]

When Lucy isn’t watching Doctor Who or swooning over David Tennant, she can will normally be found either writing short stories or scripts, or working on writing her webcomic; The Heartstones Odyssey.

If you like what you have read here, then please check out her other work:


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