By L.M. Fry
Nessie dreams of soaring through the skies as captain of her own Aerial Vessel. Unfortunately, her parents believe that a girl’s place is at home - and nowhere near airships. But when an estranged uncle arrives in Aetherland Isle, Nessie’s life changes forever. Mysterious accidents plague the family, and, in a moment of rebellion, Nessie stows away on her father’s ship.
She learns very quickly that when adventure finds her, it isn't nearly as marvelous as she'd always hoped, for she learns that her family is in mortal danger, and Nessie herself will soon be in the hands of nefarious sky pirates aboard their airship, the Obsidian Star...
The Obsidian Star is the thrilling sequel to The Trinity Key Trilogy. I loved Into Aether, Escape Aether and Save Aether. For anyone who hasn’t read these books you don’t have to have read them to enjoy this book but they are great books so I would recommend reading them. I read this book in a day because I enjoyed it so much.
One of the things I enjoy about this author’s books are the vibrant characters she creates and the way she uses them to help paint the picture. In particular, I enjoyed the way she described the Stein family; rebellious Nessie, stuck up Victoria, and their overbearing and grief-ridden parents.
Vanessa or ‘Nessie’ has always been one of my favourite characters from the older generation of characters in Aether Land. In this book Nessie is 17 years old and wants nothing more than to be captain of an Aerial Vessel but her parents are set against it.
Flying was her life…or it would be if her father ever let her fly.
The book begins with Nessie working on the engine of an Aerial Vessel.
A bead of sweat tickled Nessie’s nose. The heat from the half-ton aether engine dangling above her head radiated through her worn leather coveralls. Greased chains screeched under the weight of the machine. The vision snapping metal fluttered through her mind-being crushed was not her idea of fun. Brushing a curl of dark red hair from her eyes, she took in a deep breath.
Everyone but her parents can see that she is a talented engineer.
‘Your father will be proud of you, Nessie.’
‘Yeah, right. In father’s eyes, ‘proud and Nessie don’t mix. If he had his way. I’d be a stuck up snob like my sis…’
‘Like whom?’ Victoria, Nessie’s older sister sneered, dusting off imaginary dirt from her tight bodice velvet gown.”
Victoria has come to inform Nessie that their father will soon be home. Nessie comes up with a plan to get her father to take her plans seriously.
She glanced at the engine, and a spark of hope ignited. Perhaps accomplishments in the warehouse would outweigh his disdain for what he referred to as her ‘unladylike nonsense.’ She did her best to straighten her clothes and comb her hair into a presentable coif. She’d face her father with all the dignity she could muster.
Her plan goes awry though when her father fails to acknowledge her or to introduce to her to his estranged brother Ephraim.
Nessie feels that nobody in her family understands or approves of her and she is a disappointment to them all. The only one who sticks up for her is her uncle Ephraim, much to her father’s anger. Also, he has some amusing anecdotes which show a more reckless and rebellious side to her parents. At a family dinner tensions come to a head.
“Ephraim cleared his throat and turned to Nessie. ‘Speaking of talent, why don’t you tell us more about that Aether engine you worked on. From what I heard you are a born engineer.’
Pride filled Nessie. She sat up in her chair.
‘The A.V. Yorah was caught up in a terrible squall a few weeks ago, and lightning struck the aether injectors. The seals melted and the piston rod split, so they had to be replaced. Truth is, Briscoe did most of the work. I just helped –‘
‘Women have no place anywhere near complex equipment or aerial vessels. And children even less so.’ Nessie’s father scoffed. ‘It’s a man’s job.’
Nessie realises she need to do something to persuade her family she has what it takes to be a captain.
“She couldn’t stand to be her alone with her mother and sister with everything that had happened over the last few days. Life in Aetherland would be worse than ever, with stricter rules and more time confined to the mansion, she’d suffocate for sure. If she ever gave in to life as a proper young lady – an embroidering…haughty…goody-goody, then she’d become a phantasm of her true self. In the back of her mind, a little voice whispered to her. A naughty little voice."
Nessie formulates a plot…
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