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Heart of Veridon (The Burn Cycle #1)

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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  445 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Jacob Burn: pilot, criminal and disgraced son of one of the founding families of the ancient city of Veridon. When an old friend delivers to him a strange artifact, Jacob's world crashes down around him as he runs not only from the law but also from those who were once friends. But even as the array of machines and strange creatures stalk him through the streets of Veridon ...more
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Published September 16th 2011 by Rebellion Publishing Ltd (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jason
4 Stars

This is a very enjoyable steampunk novel that has a bit more science fiction than it does alternative history. It is an intimate story about a former pilot named Jacob Burns (Pilots are augmented people that are as much machine as they are flesh and blood which enables them to interface and thus fly zeppelins) all told in the first person.

Much of the book takes place in the strange city of Veridon and centers on the struggles of the Church of the Algorithm versus the Artificers. Although
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Mpauli
Heart of Veridon is an entertaining genre mix set in a highly imaginative world. Foremost it is a Steampunk novel with zepliners flying through the air and many protagonists having complicated clockwork augmentations done to their body.
But this Steampunk scenario isn't based in London or the weird west, it's set in a imaginative fantasy city, the name giving metropolis Veridon. We have strange gods or the non-human race of the anansi, a human-spider hybrid.
Not everything about this world is comp
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Liviu
Superb debut; after reading the free fiction set in Veridon on the author's site a while ago, I kind of forgot about this marvelous setting until I read the short story “A Soul Stitched to Iron” featuring Jacob Burn the dispossessed nobleman, "steampunk cyborg" and former pilot working for organized crime which was a highlight of the superb Solaris Sf 3 for me.

The novel is written in first person with Jacob as a narrator and has a superb opening paragraph that cannot but hook you:

"I was on the
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D. B.
A bizarre, somewhat disturbing mash-up of steampunk and cyberpunk, minus the usual Victorian malaise. The Veridon of the title is a massive, Rome-like city straddling two mighty rivers, on an otherwise undeveloped and unnamed Earth-like world. The level of technology is post-Industrial Revolution; zeppelins, repeating projectile weapons, and steam-powered whatever, but an upstart religion, the Church of the Algorithm, has caused a second, premature revolution by scavenging discarded technology d ...more
Jordan
Waffled back and forth between two and three stars for this one. I felt like I should have liked this book a lot more than I did. It's got an interesting set-up and the world is something that would typically interest me. It's got several intriguing races living in a city powered by magical clockwork. It almost seems a bit reminiscent of China Mieville's Bas-Lag, which is one of my favorite worlds. Still I mostly felt bored reading this book. It jumps right into the action and there's nearly non ...more
MyACPL Athens County Public Libraries
from Ryan:

Burn Cycle Books by Tim Akers

“He was waiting at the broad stone path that snaked up to the balcony above. I had the pistol in my left hand, the hammer in my right. I thought about running, but his wings were clenching and unclenching above his shoulders, like a giant fist waiting to strike me down. He looked at the pistol and shrugged. I raised the hammer.”

Anyone who has a love for fantasy should look to Tim Akers, even if they're not a steampunk aficionado. The books in the Burn Cycle
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Staticblaq
This book has been on my To Read this for a long time and I finally took the plunge. I should mention that the Kindle version has numerous formatting issues that leads to abrupt paragraph breaks, run-on dialogue exchanges that confused perspective, as well as several incorrectly transposed words. It's one of the worst kindle conversions I've come across.

I was very impressed with the opening chapter and the story had me hooked early. This seemed like a story I wanted to read; there were echoes of
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⊱ Irena ⊰
I almost didn't read this. Why would anyone mark this as young adult is beyond me. This is not a young adult novel. There is absolutely nothing young adult about it.

Heart of Veridon is written in the first person.
Jacob Burn is a criminal working for a very powerful crime lord in Veridon. He is an exiled son of one of the nobles. He and his father haven’t seen each other for a long time. Somehow, he finds himself on a zepliner whose whole crew gets slaughtered and an old friend entrusts him wit
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Edward McFadden
Heart of Veridon started strong, but for a book that’s considered a seminal work in the steampunk/fantasy genre, I was a little disappointed. There are some very cool ideas in the book, but rather than explore them in any depth the author chose to insert action scene after action scene. When I finished the book I felt like I had been in one long knife fight. It’s a chase book, with a little mystery thrown in. Strong sf elements. The zeppelins…I don’t know. They can do all kinds of cool things wi ...more
Ian James
a great Gear Punk book
Psychophant
This is a book I cannot review objectively, as I know the author and his work before he wrote the book. Also I tend to score much lower than the typical Goodreads reviewer.

Although it is formally steampunk, with an emphasis on body modification, it reminds me more than anything of the Victorian adventure novels, more Rider Haggard than Verne. Which for me is the right influence for steampunk. A down on his luck but honourable (and tougher than nails) protagonist. A plucky damsel that no matter h
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Linda Jaejoong
Endlich habe ich mich an das Steampunk Genre getraut und ich wurde nicht enttäuscht. "Das Herz von Veridon" ist eine spannende Erzählung die sich um den Gauner und Ex-Piloten Jacob Burn dreht. Er ist auf der Rückreise von einem Auftrag und freut sich schon wieder nach Veridon zu kommen, aber es kommt anders als er denkt. Die Reise mit dem Zepplin endet blutig und er ist der einzige Überlebende des Absturzes. Was hat es mit dem geheimen Mechagen auf sich das er an Bord erhält?? Warun wollen so vi ...more
Christopher
_Heart of Veridon_ is an enjoyable pulp crime story that takes place in an excellent steampunk fantasy setting.

At first, it isn't clear how the fantasy aspect matters. When an artifact of unknown significance falls into the hands of downfallen ex-pilot and small-time criminal Jacob Burn, people start trying to kill him. He doesn't know why. He doesn't understand who is after him. He's not sure whom he can trust. And for a while, it doesn't particularly matter that he is a steampunk cyborg in a c
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Ubiquitousbastard
A really interesting premise, but I don't know, the romance sucked? The beginning was really good, and got me hooked, but then I progressively became less interested. I guess that's not true, I had spurts of caring, followed by stretches of why should I care? The end was just pointless, at least it seemed that way to me. Wait, I gave this four stars, and I've only complained.
No, I really did like the beginning. And the whole concept of pilot hearts. That was pretty interesting. The secrets and i
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Corey Frampton
A remarkable debut novel from an author that I would very much like to see more of.

Written in a sort of steampunk/cyborg city, similar in feel to the City of Deepgate from Alan Campbell's Deepgate Codex. The concepts behind the book are very clear from the outset and it makes for a very enjoyable read.

My only complaint regarding the book, and the reason it's getting 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 is that the latter half of the book feels a bit rushed. The ending, while good, should have been done ou
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Jonathan
The quality of airship pilot training requires improvement. Our hero crashes 3 of them.

He is in addition an unfeeling criminal type, who shoots his way through 10s of police and assorted associates and friends, beats up old folk and hangs out with spider people. Everyone in the city dislikes him, is spying on him, actively trying to kill him, or trying to steal a mechanical Cog from him.

I like the biomechanical technology, the old gods and the new engineered replacement, the mysterious source ci
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Jonah
I haven't read much steampunk, which I guess is where this fits, but I definitely enjoyed the aesthetic of a crumbling city built on complex machinery that no one fully understands.

The twists and turns are maybe a bit excessive (says the guy who doesn't normally read mysteries, so maybe par for the course?) and the ending conflict stretches our hero a bit farther past the breaking point than I was willing to accept even with a lot of suspension of disbelief.

It's an enjoyable and fast-paced read.
Merc Rustad
So. It has a great premise, it's gearpunk, and it's got lots of shiny in the world building (parasitic clockwork angels! airships! worms that create living dead in the river!). I began reading really wanting to like this, because in theory it has many things that Merc loves.

It bored me to tears. I tried to get over the issues of voice and flat characterization and the rough edges. I really, really tried to find something to engage in. (I did like Wilson, in the sense I found him to have the hope
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Marc
I really like this guy's writing. Great style and I love the worlds he has created. At the beginning of this book I found myself wondering if his very different ideas were going to work, but I need not have worried, as the world made more sense the more new aspects were revealed. I recommend this book and am on the lookout for more of Tim's books to devour. I am looking forward to seeing the world developed further, especially those things that were just touched upon. Like the bugs! And the rive ...more
Grimread
It's a puzzling book. or maybe it's a puzzle book.
Yune
Steampunkish, reveling in its disturbing juxtaposition of people and cogs, religion and the grimy underworld and the aristocracy of the founders of Veridon.

There were some great ideas in here, and the setting is wonderfully weird, but the characters felt flat to me even as they got pulled into the whorls of a deep and deeper conspiracy. Too deep; I stopped feeling shocked early on and just waved the hero onward as he got into more trouble.

Sadly, one of the foremost thoughts in my mind is that th
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Dantegideon
A four right up until the end. Out-clevered himself.
Scotty
I thoroughly enjoyed this mix up of steampunk and noir. Flawed protagonist. Crazy creatures. Mystery. Love interest. Cogs. Machines. Zeppelins. Betrayal. Politics. Beautifully choreographed action. Unique world building. This book has it all.

The only thing keeping it from 5 stars is some of the secondary characters don't quite round out for me. They seem there just to move the story along or to give the protagonist something to react to.

A very minor detail that didn't keep me from enjoying the
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Petra Eriksson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bentgaidin
Excellent gear-punk adventure.
Matthew

Really good, and not what I was expecting. The book is sort of a steampunk-noire, balls out action style book. Most of it operates more on Rule of Cool, and if you think too hard about how the society and technology actually function, it does start to come apart.

It's a pretty fast paced, exciting ride and the plot really moves along at a steady pace. The world is explored and secrets are uncovered, no foreshadowing b.s. or dragging confrontations out for a later book in the series.
Tasula
This was a fascinating story of a world where people could be engineered, either permanently or temporarily, to look like something else, or to have certain skills, through the use of "cogs". The hero is a failed pilot (his mechanism was faulty)working for a criminal boss. He gets entangled in a political/relgious struggle, and along the way learns about his own past and associates. I found some parts of the ending confusing, but overall it was very well written and enjoyable.
Mike
A great and fast read (as in: a real page-turner that makes you want to come back to the story asap, NOT a book with 10 pages ;)) that immediately made me feel at home.

Placed somewhere between the universes of Thief & Dishonored (the video games), but it's not a mere regurgitation of steampunk/gearpunk cliches. It has a strong flavour and voice of its own. Jacob Burn is a great anti-hero, and I'll be going back to Veridon, I'm sure!
Kellen Wilson


Gritty and unexpected. I was glad to see a hero character who wasn't a hero. Everything just goes wrong for this main character in almost every way... Love, finances, friendships, and even religion.
The city was very detailed, as was the mechanics of this world. Rich in world building even down to the religions (an area many authors avoid.) Can't wait to read the sequel book.
John Machell
Some fun concepts, but not a must read. Seems like an author's first book.
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Tim Akers was born in deeply rural North Carolina, the only son of a theologian. He moved to Chicago for college, where he lives with his wife of thirteen years and their German shepherd. He splits his time between databases and fountain pens.
- PyrSF
More about Tim Akers...

Other Books in the Series

The Burn Cycle (2 books)
  • Dead of Veridon (The Burn Cycle #2)
The Horns of Ruin Dead of Veridon (The Burn Cycle #2) Postmodern Magick (Unknown Armies) Dark Kingdom of Jade Adventures (Wraith - the Oblivion) Memories of Copper and Blood

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