Not long after I got back into reading, I found the website Helping Writers Become Authors. Its founder, KM Weiland, regularly writes great writing advice, rather deep plot analysis for major movies, and interacts with her fans and hopeful authors on twitter on a daily basis. I feel like she’s helped my own writing quite a bit. Yet for some reason, I’ve never read any of her novels … until now.
Storming is a dieselpunk adventure novel taking place in 1920, starring Hitch Hitchcock, a talented stunt pilot who flies all over the country partly to avoid returning home. In this book, he only returns home because of a competition/flying circus happening just out of town, and very early on, he’s confronted by bitter family and friends. Everything changes however, when a mysterious woman and a guy with a flare gun drop from the sky in the middle of Hitch’s practice run.
The woman, Jael, seems very odd and defensive at first, not to mention a moderate language barrier, but their friendship grows naturally throughout the book and they discover that they’re kindred spirits of sorts. Hitch’s problems with his family also evolve and change in interesting ways, as the book slowly reveals tidbits from both sides of the conflict. Every major character has their own little quirks, their own motivations and with the exception of the villains, some sort of noble reasoning behind most their actions. In many ways these interpersonal relationships are more dominant in the writing than the main plot is, and that works in this book’s favour.
That’s not to say the plot doesn’t live up to the characters. It’s a simple yet effective story, with enough twists and mythology to keep the book moving at a good pace. In short, Jael grew up in the sky – in a mysterious airship that can control the weather. The villain is clearly determined to take control of the airship, and will eliminate anyone who stands in his way. The town’s crooked Sherriff doesn’t help matters either.
This is a fun read, with a good balance of action, drama and amusing dialogue. It’s also written in such a way that makes it appropriate for older kids, if they can read at this book’s level anyway. If this is anything to go by, than KM Weiland practices what she preaches in her writing advice work. Although I still prefer my straight fantasy with horror roots and science fiction, this makes me feel like reading more straight adventure books. I probably should, considering some of the material I’ve written has touches of adventure, and I have ideas that dab more heavily into adventure stories. In any case, I would happily read more of KM Weiland’s work and I would recommend this book to fans of the genre.