R. J. Theodore. This book had me at hello. It promised everything in my ideal book checklist. Fantasy, touch of magic, aliens, steampunk, strong female characters with ensemble cast, pirates/junkers on a treasure hunt, some humor, good dialogue and plot driven narrative.
This was a solidly readable good book. I really saw a cliffhanger coming for 300 pages but when I had read the last page, I immediately started jonesing for the next book in the series.
This is high fantasy with cool world building, well thought out races, alien tech (the wasp-aliens with carved exoskeletons made me squee out loud. Ok, almost...but damn that was cool!), betrayal and survival and teamwork and...
It's a brick of a book, 535 pages, but doesn't suffer from book bloat in the slightest. It's not slow, doesn't drag, and the author isn't so fond of their own voice that they can't bear to cut anything they've written (I'm lookin' at you, Stephen King).
Released 27 March, 2018 by Parvus Press, it's available in ebook, paperback and audiobook formats. Really well written. Looking forward to the sequels.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes