The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

Thursday, 7 November 2019


Let’s talk about commitments, shall we? I love me some long fantasy books. Give me a fantasy or sci-fi book that I could possibly bludgeon someone to death with and I’ll have a lot of fun. The only problem is that a large book is quite intimidating and committing to it, even a book you’re pretty sure you like, can be a tad scary.

I had The Aeronauts Windlass on my shelf for quite a while. I’m a huge Jim Butcher fan. I’ve read almost all of his books. So I knew I was going to like this one. The issue was I found the length intimidating. I shouldn’t. I’ve read quite a few 700+ page books before. But it doesn’t stop me from finding epic tomes to be daunting. I finally sat down to read it this year. What did I think? Here’s my review.



Let’s start with the premise, as we always do. This premise was taken straight from Jim Butcher's website. "Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory. And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…"

Jim Butcher has a lot of strengths but his biggest, in my humble opinion, is his characters. The Aeronauts Windlass doesn’t disappoint. Each of the main characters are well thought out and dynamic. They have their own unique personality without falling into any tropes. The very basics of each character is a bit tropeish, but each one is more complex than that.

The biggest complaint I heard about this book was that there were some parts where the story followed a cat. Cats in this world are as sentient as humans, but not everyone can communicate with them. I didn’t find these chapters to be odd or distracting. Any big fan of fantasy or sci-fi should be used to non-human perspectives already. So this serves as more of a warning for those of you who may be on the fence.

Like many other epic fantasy books, the main crew splits off at times but the good news is that it never gets confusing. I never once lost track of which group I was following and where the story was going.

Here’s the one downside to this book. Are you ready? This is a new series from Jim Butcher, the same man who is also writing The Dresden Files series, the same man that, for personal reasons, hasn’t written a new book since 2016. He already has another Dresden book coming, Peace Talks, with no release date in sight. So if you read The Aeronaut's Windlass now, you’ll be stuck with no sequel for an unknown length of time. Who knows, he could release the next book in 2020. Or you could be waiting years like the fans of Dresden have waited. 

This is a good book. I enjoyed it tremendously. But it also may not be a bad idea to wait until book 2 comes out, that way you can just keep the adventure going.

The Aeronaughts Windlass by Jim Butcher gets a 9 out of 11

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