The Orphan Fleet by Brendan Detzner (2016)
Middle Grade Fiction | Fantasy
“The Orphan Fleet” is terrific adventure fantasy — a non-stop tale of action and strange magic on a wind-swept mountain top where abandoned children have forged a free community, servicing far-traveling airships on sturdy wooden platforms. Here masked heroes with names like Golden Sam and The Sparrow are the ultimate celebrities — and the mysterious Count leaves shivers of terror wherever he treads. When that community is threatened by an admiral who demands the return of his prized daughter, it triggers a terrible war fought in the air, on the ground, and in the old abandoned scaffolding circling the mountain … a war where Golden Sam may prove himself a true hero after all, and the Count has a terrible role to play.”
Expected Publication Date: April 15, 2016
pooled ink Review:
The Orphan Fleet is the beginning of a novella series set in a curious world. In this story the hero is Jiaire, a 16-year-old orphan who lives on the Mountain. Soldiers invade, blood is spilled in battle, and a mystical creature called the Count slithers in.
This novella is a fun adventurous tale of daring and bravery with a twist of magic. It is a very quick read and filled with bold imagination and interesting ideas. I can easily see many a young reader picking up this novella and demanding more stories to follow suit.
I wish there was a bit more development both in world-building and character development, but what was written was an interesting foundation. Novellas are generally somewhere between a short story and a book but even so they must ideally contain the same depth as say a 300-page book. Any story requires an inquisitive beginning, a bounding middle, a breath-catching climax, and a dancing conclusion. This novella felt like it was on the right track but begged for more depth and detail. The concepts were sketched for us but remained a touch vague as the novella skimmed through the story bouncing from point to point. I would very much like to know more about Jiaire and his friends, where they come from, what they do, who they are. I would also be intrigued to know more about this Mountain and the Count and even the lands surrounding them. So many colorful ideas glimmer in the story but I am left wanting. Even so there is plenty of magic and adventure to keep one’s mind pleasantly entertained.
The Orphan Fleet glides through a daring plot filled with a mysterious cast of characters as these youths protect their wild home from its enemies. Fun, energetic, and interesting, Detzner’s story is sure to thrill those seeking a bite-sized tale of adventure.
Purchase here: The Orphan Fleet
Meet Brendan Detzner!
Brendan Detzner lives, works, and writes in Forest Park, IL. His work has appeared in Chizine, Pseudopod, Edge of Propinquity, Ruthless Peoples, Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, and the Book of Dead Things and Exigencies anthologies, as well as elsewhere. His new novel “Millersville” is available on Amazon. Brendan has also been featured at the Twilight Tales and Reading Under The Influence reading series in Chicago and runs his own reading series Bad Grammar Theater (http://www.badgrammartheater.com).