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ARC: Liberty and Other Stories by Alexis Hall

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I received a copy of Liberty and Other Stories from the publisher for review; this in no way influences my opinions positive or negative.

Liberty and Other Stories is a collection of novellas (2-4, 6) from the Prosperity series. Thankfully you don’t need to have read book one to understand who the characters are or what is going on. These are a mix prequels and standalones.

Shackles introduces you to Ruben and Milord. Ruben (an excommunicated priest) is given special dispensation to try to ‘save’ Milord by getting his confession. If Ruben can get the confession, Milord won’t suffer a harsher punishment.

Sadly, I could care less about Milord. While you do learn some of his nature, he just didn’t seem that fleshed out or dimensional. Ruben, on the other hand, absolutely fascinates me. I want to know more! Why/when did he get excommunicated? Why did they choose him? I have an idea for both, based on some of was touched on, but I don’t know for sure. I went and bought the rest of the Prosperity books because of this specific story.

Squamous with a Chance of Rain is Jane’s story. Which seems to be a mesh of The Sound of Music and Cthulhu mythos, with a dash of fem!slash. Told in letters to her friend, this was a delightful romp of a governess with a dead uncle, an odd employer, and his even odder family.

Jane is not Maria in any shape or form. Which more than once had me burst out laughing at something she said/did. I really can’t say more without giving away the storyline. Just give it a try!

Cloudy Climes and Starless Skies is the history behind Bryon Kae and the aethership, Shadowless.

I think this was the weakest story of the collection. This might be because I haven’t read Prosperity, but I’m doubting that is the case (I will update this review once I have read it, to confirm/deny my theory). Up until the last couple of scenes, the story just was ‘meh’ for me. Not much action, and not really that different from any ‘rescued off the street by a parent, illegitimate child’ regency story, only with some steampunk elements. Once I got into the action, things moved swiftly, and I became curious and wanted to know more. This was good for a collection, but I don’t think I’d recommend it as a standalone.

Liberty is a series of letters and court documents pertaining to Captain George England and his part in the destruction of a skyfleet above the skycity of Liberty in 1866.

I like Captain England. He is a honest, loyal soldier of Britain, and seems to be very earnest. Fate has dealt him a bad hand, and yet he still believes in doing whatever the country needs him to do. Which is how he ends up aboard Shadowless and in the mess at Liberty. While I am intrigued with Ruben, all I want to do is smother England in hugs. Sadly, this story takes place after Prosperity; Captain England (I love typing that) won’t make an appearance in it.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend (and will be) this to my friends. 4.5 Stars.

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