Cloud Riders by Nick Cook

Sally Ann Melia

Sally Ann Melia, SF&F
Apr 18, 2013
S A Melia is an English SF&F writer based in Surre
Nick Cook contacted me via Twitter about Cloud Riders. this is first novel published by three Hares Publishing and edited by Kathryn Price or Cornerstones.

The novel is set in Twister Alley in the USA and tells the story of Dom, a seventeen-year-old geek, picked on the sport and cheerleader clique at his local high-school, whose father is dead, and left him and his mother with little money and failing business. A Diner in twister Allee makes no money when there are no twisters. So the book which starts off very much as High School Musical meets Somewhere Over the Rainbow, when an airship falls out of a twister.

I won't say very much about the story, except the pace really picks up when Dom finally plucks up his courage to break into the airship to discover its secrets.

The whole story has nice steampunk details and is an innovative take on the time travel / parallel universe genre.

The Science Fiction is less convincing, and I was particularly irritated by the all-healing Chi Stone. You rub or hold the stone above any injury and its special powers accelerate the healing. That's not science fiction, that's magic.

So all-told an interesting Steam-Punk parallel-worlds tale with a sequel to follow. A solid start from a brand new talent.