Jacob Burn is the fallen son of a noble founding family within the ancient city of Veridon. Where once he brushed shoulders with the elite social classes, now he mingles with the criminals. Jacob was on the "Glory of Day" zepliner when it crashed. He had been handed a strange artifact, a Cog, from a former acquaintance just before it happened. In the aftermath, Jacob is the only survivor. If not for the biotics within him, Jacob would be dead. Should still be dead! However, unknown to Jacob, the bionics within his chest are not what he believes they are. Jacob had gone into the Academy to become a Pilot. It should have been a Pilot Engine placed within him. He is about to learn otherwise.
The city of Veridon is mainly comprised of machinery. The technology which makes up the city comes from up the river. Pieces often float down the river and they are salvaged. The people of Veridon cannot create the brilliant technologies they find, but they have learned to use them. A couple of years ago an expedition had been sent up the river to find the source. None returned ... until now. The only thing brought back is the Cog, on the zepliner that ends up falling from the sky. And something has followed the Cog back to Veridon.
Jacob finds himself on the run. The Badge (law), Council and Church are all trying to either possess Jacob or kill him. Friends and family abandon and/or betray him. At the center of it all is an angel. A sentient technological creation in the form of a metal angel, seeking the return of the Cog. The Council has split between the old Families and the Young Seats. Each side yearns for control of the Cog, and Jacob if they can get hold of him. As an array of machines, two-faced friends, and strange creatures pursue Jacob, he must stay one step ahead as he tries to figure out what the Cog is, who and what HE is, and how to live long enough to see tomorrow.
***** FIVE STARS! This is the first of a trilogy and I wish that I could get my hands on the next two books quickly. I did not simply read this book, I all but inhaled it. I could not read fast enough to see what would happen next. Twists and surprises lurk behind every corner, keeping me on the edge of my seat. The flavor of Pulp Fantasy has not tasted this rich in a long time. Recommended! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
on 19 September 2011
Much as I enjoyed the ideas presented here, many of them fresh and intriguing, I kept getting tripped up by the strange and fluctuating writing style.
I'm no stranger to "pulp Sci-Fi/Fantasy" but felt that at some points Mr Akers thought he was writing a Western...what with the "Nah" and "Yeah" and the one that made me put it down and fume:
" I hitched up to a doorway about a block shy..." (pg 128)
Admittedly writing in a fantasy setting without using any recognisable phrasing or words is next to impossible, but generating the feeling of something removed from anything you know through a writing style isn't.
There are several inconsistencies within the story, the most glaring of which is on Pages 396-397 (and please correct me if I'm wrong here):
The Cog everyone is after is missing, in fact the Badges took it from Wilson yet Jacob has it on pg 396, on the very next page Wilson explains how the Badges took it.
So how come they have it now?
Some of the Geography feels a little off as well, especially towards the end when an explaination of the purpose of the Torchlight is explained.
I feel that this book would have benefited massively from some tighter editing and more considerate writing.
on 3 September 2009
Heart of Veridon follows Jacob Burn in a fast paced adventure through the city of Veridon, a city where steam and clockwork rule, in more ways than one.
Jacob, a failed pilot and criminal, is given a mysterious artifact by a dying man on a crashing airship. He soon finds that all the factions of the city of Veridon are after him and the artifact, leading to discoveries about the city, his family and his own history.
A very enjoyable read which reminded me in some ways of China Mieville due to the setting and technology.