The best way to describe The Balero Affair by Aaron McQueen is dieselpunk meets Mission Impossible in the far future. With a lot of airships. Of various kinds.
The plot reads a bit like a Mission Impossible movie: against near-impossible odds, a small crew of heroes needs to get hold of weapons that can destroy the world as they know it from a terrorist cell. It’s fast-paced like the movies, too.
The Balero Affair might not have the most original plot, but it has good characters and a good pace. Which is excellent if you’re looking for some fun, light reading without too many twists and turns to wrap your head around. Character development is kept to a minimum, as is worldbuilding.
Which is a little unfortunate, because the concept of most of the world having sunk beneath the ocean and what’s left having literally been lifted into the sky is pretty interesting! This is my sole gripe with the book: I wish the setting had been fleshed out more. But other than making you wonder what the heck happened, it doesn’t hinder the story too much.
A fun, fast read. We could all do with one of those from time to time!