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Great worldbuilding and a ton of adventure. It's shame that Hayao Miyazaki is retired; this would make one hell of an anime!
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The first book of this series ends with the destruction of a governing system based on secrets, politics, and power-plays that the society in the towers is thankful to be rid of. In Cloudbound, they have replaced it with a new government with exactly the same problems, and I spent the first third of this book angry that no one seems to have noticed this.
I was about to give up when the main characters are pulled into an adventure that starts peeling away the secrets and exposing the worldbuilding I bought this book to experience. Fran Wilde has created a complex and fascinating world here. Tower society clearly has forgotten more history than they can imagine, and it is fun watching the pieces come together.
Sadly, it seems as if Fran Wilde simply sweeps aside the world she's crafted when the story needs it. [Very Minor Spoilers Follow.] For example, in Updraft we learn that no one goes below the clouds; those who fall are considered dead and lost forever. In Cloudbound, circumstances force the protagonists to venture into the clouds, but when opposing forces give chase, suddenly no one seems to remember they grew up with a paralyzing fear of the clouds. Health issues caused by flying downward and explained at length at one point in the book, and then later seem to be totally ignored. I also find it completely unclear just how far characters keep falling while doing battle on the wing, and how any of them manage to survive.
We discover some massive, if not particularly surprising, truths about the city by the end of Cloudbound, and I look forward to seeing how Fran Wilde explains them in the final book in the series.