“I Will Breathe” by Regina Pucket is a delightful, bittersweet novel about a young girl on an airship in the year 2836. The world is devastated after a Great War, some 800 years ago and Liberty is all alone, with no parents or friends, other than her robot Boy. The scene setting at the beginning of the novel aboard Airus works very well and the atmospheric writing style sets the tone nicely for the adventures to come.
Liberty is a great character that befits the genre well: A lone survivor who is tough at times but still vulnerable at others. The post-apocalyptic setting always brings the focus on the basic human condition and the question of what we need beyond naked survival.
While this is a story on the entertaining side of steampunk, the novel has quite a few deeper notes about love and what it is to be human, about the need for company and a functioning society. Adventurous, sad, romantic, tender, entertaining and very enjoyable this is a breath of fresh air.