Monday, May 1, 2017

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis Review

Photo Content from Robyn Bennis

Robyn Bennis is a scientist living in Mountain View, California, where she works in biotech but dreams of airships. She has done research and development involving human gene expression, neural connectomics, cancer diagnostics, rapid flu testing, gene synthesis, genome sequencing, being so preoccupied with whether she could that she never stopped to think if she should, and systems integration.

Her apartment is within sight of Hangar One at Moffett Airfield, which was once the West Coast home to one of America's largest airships, the USS Macon.

Her debut novel, The Guns Above, comes out in May 2017.


Series: Signal Airship (Book 1)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (May 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765388766
ISBN-13: 978-0765388766


“Steampunky navy-in-the-air military tale full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” ―Patricia Briggs

The Guns Above is a sharp, witty Ruritanian adventure full of flintlock rifles, plumed shakos, brass buttons... and airships! Taking place in an alternate mid-nineteenth-century Europe where dirigibles ply the smoky air over battlefields and women have been grudgingly admitted to the air corps,The Guns Above takes a clear-eyed, even cynical view of the 'glories' of war, complete with blood, shit, shattered limbs, and petty squabbles among the nobility. The aerial combat is gut-clenchingly realistic, the two viewpoint characters are well-drawn and as different as can be, and the action never stops. Hard women learn compassion, soft men learn bravery, and the fate of a nation depends on one rickety airship and its stalwart crew. A winner!” ―David D. Levine, author of Arabella of Mars

“An engaging gunpowder adventure with a helping of witty Noel Coward dialogue and a touch of Joseph Heller.” ―Tina Connolly, Nebula Award-nominated author of Ironskin

“Wonderfully adventurous and laudably detailed. Bennis paints airship battles so clearly you'd swear they were from memory.” ―Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

“Buckle in. The crew of the Mistral will take readers on adventures they won’t soon forget.” ―Pip Ballantine, author of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

“Hold on to your goggles, Bennis' The Guns Above is a nonstop ride.” Suzanne Lazear, author of The Aether Chronicles Series

“A fast-paced military fantasy, full of colourful characters and quirky humour that had me laughing throughout. Every fan of airships should read this.” ―Marc Turner, author of Dragon Hunters

“Bennis writes a pleasing mix of banter and gritty battle scenes, combining both the adrenaline rush of combat and its horrifying results, and never indulging in too-sudden social victories that might cheapen the longstruggle against embedded prejudice.” ―Publishers Weekly

The nation of Garnia has been at war for as long as Auxiliary Lieutenant Josette Dupris can remember – this time against neighboring Vinzhalia. Garnia’s Air Signal Corp stands out as the favored martial child of the King. But though it’s co-ed, women on-board are only allowed “auxiliary” crew positions and are banned from combat. In extenuating circumstances, Josette saves her airship in the heat of battle. She is rewarded with the Mistral, becoming Garnia’s first female captain.

She wants the job – just not the political flak attached. On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat – a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He’s also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision. When the Vins make an unprecedented military move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself to the top brass?

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis is an action-packed steampunk military adventure with an entertaining dialogue and all the elements for a fun and captivating read. Readers are driven back to the Victorian era and are introduced to Josette Dupre and Lord Bernat. Dupre has recently became the captain of the airship Mistral and the self-obsessed nobleman Bernat has been sent to spy on her. The alternating perspective between the two that author Bennis has chosen to format the story provides a formula that keeps things moving fast but smoothly. The story touches on certain subjects such as sexism, bravery, redemption, and imperialism.

The Victorian Era is such a visual marvel that it takes a special writing etiquette to fully describe this immaculate world’s glory. Bennis provides a unique but easy textual content to open the door to this world for her readers to step in and absorb it all. The vivid aerial battles and the banter between the two main characters make for a story that will be difficult to step away from. There is a whole heap of hilarious dialogue and a very descriptive violent war. There is the saying that people often times will enjoy a book and get lost in it, The Guns Above is all that but electrified ten times.

Perhaps one the main thing that readers will enjoy about this book is that it is meant to be a fun read. Although it is essentially a war story, it didn’t require complex world building of historical facts and political views. Bennis story telling bypasses this and dives into Dupre and Bernat’s very unique and enthralling relationship. This read is a fast-paced story about aerial warfare with a satisfying dosage of comedy relief.

You can purchase The Guns Above at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ROBYN BENNIS AND TOR for making this giveaway possible.
10 Winners will receive a Copy of The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis.
MAY 2nd TUESDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
MAY 4th THURSDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW 

MAY 6th SATURDAY Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW 
MAY 7th SUNDAY Sara is Reading and Listening to What? REVIEW 
MAY 8th MONDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
MAY 9th TUESDAY Wishful Endings REVIEW 


  1. Looks like an exciting book! Thank you for the contest!

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