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“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing.

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"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."— J.K. Rowling

Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay 2) (Bk. 2)

The Black Lung Captain - Chris Wooding The Black Lung Captain continues the story of a rogue and irresistible to women airship pilot/small-time smuggler, setting out with his crew on the adventures full of fun and debauchery... Sounds familiar? ...and this time, they are chasing a mysterious and powerful artifact that is about to fall in the wrong hands. Again, sounds familiar? (Do you know how much I love Harrison Ford? Let me give you a hint. My card is a Ford. It has a name. My Ford is named Harrison. Yeah.)Black Lung Captain, the second in Chris Wooding's "The Tales of the Ketty Jay" steampunk-ish series, in the very Han Solo-ish and Indiana Jones-ish in its spirit of fun and adventure. Do not look for profound moral lessons or life-changing experience from it (unless you count 'friends are good', 'betrayals are bad', and 'there are things better than money' as such). No, this book does not try to deliver that. What it delivers instead is a pure unadulterated fast-paced page-turner full of adventures, betrayals and double-crosses, tight corners, suspense, friendship, traps, unbelievable escapes, and loads of humor. Like Indiana Jones movies, this book never make you doubt that the heroes will survive and be fine; instead, it keeps up the suspense by making you wonder how exactly they are going to get out of yet another tight corner. It will not be a life-changing experience but it will sure keep you nicely entertained, even if it doesn't make you think too much. 'You know what's worse than robbing a bunch of defenceless orphans?' Frey said. 'Failing to rob a bunch of defenceless orphans.'Darian Frey and the crew of his old but trusty airship "Ketty Jay" - "six men, one woman (kind of), a golem and a cat" - are, as usual, in way over their heads. They are dead broke and so are easily tempted by a seemingly great offer involving a shady Captain Grist and a trip through the jungle to the remains of a Mane airship in search of a mysterious artifact that may bring them riches. Sounds too good to be true, right? Especially if Frey's old flame, the double-crossing pirate captain Trinica Dracken, decides to get involved. "They're looking out for each other, Frey thought to himself. By damn, my crew are actually looking out for each other. Could you have ever imagined it, a year ago?"After their previous adventure, a bunch of misfits on board of Ketty Jay learned to care for each other and became a real crew. Now these newly formed bonds of friendship are about to be tested by the dark secrets and troubles that plague them. A man's past was his own on the Ketty Jay. Mostly, he reflected, that was a good thing. On Frey's crew, your only judge was yourself. But the conspiracy of silence had its downside. How could you be sure who was your friend and who wasn't, when they'd never seen the worst of you? When the secrets came out, who'd stand by your side? Crake is torn apart by the dark secret from his past that involves a little dead girl. Jez, the heartbeat-challenged navigator, attempts to resist the ever-stronger pull of the Manes. Pinn's love life is shattered. Frey is neglecting his crew in favor of a certain old flame. And poor Harkins is, to his dismay, terrorized by Slag, the resident alpha-cat of the airship, and needs to take a stand against the terror reign of feline ferocity."Powerless? Him? Not any more. After all, he'd just punched out a cat. Taking on a dreadnought seemed like the next logical step."Do not mess with Slag the cat. You just may find yourself in the ICU if you do. The storyline is fun and well-executed. The pacing is fast. The language is rather modern and snarky, and is quite enjoyable even if it runs a risk of sounding dated in a few decades. The characterization is not bad at all, with distinct personalities and believable, even though predictable, character development. "Well, if he could avoid leaving thousands of corpses behind, that would be good. Mass murder was a legacy he could do without."---------------------------------------------------------This book definitely delivers what it promises - an enjoyable fun ride chock-full of fascinating adventures. 4 stars. I will definitely pick up the final story of Frey and his crew. 'I could kiss you.''I'd rather you didn't. Allsoul only knows where that mouth's been.'