The Iron Jackal (Tale of the Ketty Jay 3) by Chris Wooding [Book Review]

Curse of the Mummy meets the Air Pirates

The colorful crew of the Ketty Jay is back for a third installment of the tale named The Iron Jackal. Captain Frey is famous after the happenings in book two and although he enjoys the advantage it gives with the ladies it makes it hard to fly under the radar as an air pirate.

The series is best described as retro futuristic steampunk about the competent but unlucky crew of the airship Ketty Jay. They usually get involved in some money making scheme that unfolds in unexpected ways with great repercussions in the world around them. Lately they uncovered secrets about a cult that threatens to throw the country into civil war. The story usually has multiple main characters but the cast is limited and the focus is mainly on one or two in each book, which I like.

This time the caper goes off as planed but giving Frey a mysterious box and tell him not to open it might not be the smartest thing. You can probably figure where things head after that.

Frey’s charming maybe-affair with the deadly Trinica continues to unfold with many ups and downs. He is totally clueless in a way I enjoy to read and I say that as a man. Frey continues his development from selfish narcissist towards something more human in this novel. I really like the characters Chris Wooding has made. This time Frey and one of the pilots gets more room to develop.

Jez the half-mane is my favorite character. I have a soft spot for female protagonist with exotic powers which is especially true this time as Jez does a River Tam on the opposition at one time. You Firefly lovers will know what I mean when you read it the rest should go see Firefly and then read the book. It has a lot in common with the Tales of the Ketty Jay. Jez is not as prominent here as before but there are interesting developments for her too.

The best words to describe The Iron Jackal are Curse of the Mummy meets the Air Pirates. It is a fun action filled romp I greatly enjoyed. Chris you have made it again and I love your new book!

Book Information

The Iron Jackal (Tale of the Ketty Jay 3) by Chris Wooding (Gollancz 2011) – Amazon US | UK


Things are finally looking good for Captain Frey and his crew. The Ketty Jay has been fixed up good as new. They’ve got their first taste of fortune and fame. And, just for once, nobody is trying to kill them. Even Trinica Dracken, Frey’s ex-fiancee and long-time nemesis, has given up her quest for revenge. In fact, she’s offered them a job – one that will take them deep into the desert heart of Samarla, the land of their ancient enemies. To a place where the secrets of the past lie in wait for the unwary. Secrets that might very well cost Frey everything. Join the crew of the Ketty Jay on their greatest adventure yet: a story of mayhem and mischief, roof-top chases and death-defying races, murderous daemons, psychopathic golems and a particularly cranky cat. The first time was to clear his name. The second time was for money. This time, Frey’s in a race against the clock for the ultimate prize: to save his own life.