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The Sunken

(Engine Ward #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  39 reviews
In the heart of London lies the Engine Ward, a district forged in coal and steam, where the great Engineering Sects vie for ultimate control of the country. For many, the Ward is a forbidding, desolate place, but for Nicholas Thorne, the Ward is a refuge. He has returned to London under a cloud of shadow to work for his childhood friend, the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brune ...more
Paperback, 520 pages
Published September 5th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  120 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Interesting ideas, blending 19th-century industrial Britain with religious sects based on trades. It gave the world a slightly dystopian flavour, casting skewed shadows on its inhabitants' motives and on the way things were run. Historical events were loosely respected and used (such as the king's madness, or Brunel's engines and railroads), but in a way that seemed believable enough to me. Same with historical personae: sure, so
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Read all my reviews on

This is one of the weirdest books I've read in a very long time. I don't even know how to describe the weirdness correctly.

Imagine London in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. Now take away everything you know about that. Add to that a lot of steam engines, a complete class of people to man them, a vampire George III and what possibly is the weirdest religion system I've come across with. The Church of England has been replaced w
I'm editing my review to say that I'm reducing my star rating from 2-okay stars to 1-Didn't-like star. All I took from reading this book was its horrible treatment of the female characters. I can't remember why I thought the story was "okay" and my review didn't give me any clues.

Original Review
This book. . . It took me way too long to read. I started it on March 18th, and even subtracting the three or four days when I didn't read any of it at all, it still took me a week to read 505 pages.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Grymm and Epic

Publishing Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9780473305581

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.6/5

Publisher Description: In the heart of London lies the Engine Ward, a district forged in coal and steam, where the great Engineering Sects vie for ultimate control of the country. For many, the Ward is a forbidding, desolate place, but for Nicholas Thorne, the Ward is a refuge. He has returned to London under a cloud of shadow to work for his childhood f
This was both fascinating and at times incomprehensible - the latter probably because I have only read a couple of steampunk novels. There was a whole slew of characters, a wild 'fantasy' plot involving dragons, an insane King and a 'victorian' world of Stokers, machinists, inventors, where England is at war with Europe and vampires (or worse) exist. Violent, brutal, creepy, horrific.

And .. FUN!

And although at times I had no idea what was going on in the story, I found myself unable to stop re
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Be aware- this is not a book you can casually read. I found out very quickly that if I wasn’t paying attention for a paragraph or two, I would not understand what is going on. The author throws you into alternate version of London so thoroughly, and so swiftly, that I would say this is both a positive and a negative. Positive in that my attention is entirely in her story, negative that at the beginning I had a bit trouble understanding the world the characters were in.

The author has built a comp
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rrr
I’ll warn you right away…this is not for the faint-hearted. Not only is this a long read (over 500 pages), it’s full of action, adventure, and intrigue. If you’re looking for a light little beach read or such, this is not the book for you. However, if you’re looking for the ride of your life, grab your copy and buckle up.

I could tell you all about the characters and the world they live in. I could tell you how well-written they all were. How I was drawn into the world and the lives and actions o
mad mags
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
“By Great Conductor’s steam-driven testicles!”

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Member Giveaways program. Also, trigger warning for rape. I summarize some of the plot points below, but try to avoid any major spoilers.)

Set in London in 1820 and 1830, The Sunken imagines an alternate history in which dragons thrive in the swamps surrounding London; King George III is a vampire/cannibal/madman; and traditional, god-fearing religions have been
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great old fashioned fantasy story involving zombie like creatures, the city of London, all sorts of wonderful engineering and characters of wonderful depth, some with familiar names from our history.

A different tale of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Robert Stephenson - and what could have been if engineers were worshipped as gods with the country revolving around their beliefs and ideas, dragons were real, some men having power over animals and part of the great leaps in engineering rendering a
Jane Mercer
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-book, deleted
I liked the sound of the summary and it started OK engineering and arts have churches and the normal ones have been banned, then it then picked up it dragged (repeat) then went to flashbacks of the main characters and that really dragged I don't normally give a book that long, but I only gave up after 2 thirds of the book.
I tried but I just couldn't be bothered to finish
Angela Oliver
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
interesting premise with overly complicated execution: too many plots and characters to keep my attention fully focused. Skimmed the final 30% or so.

longer review may come when I get onto my proper computer.
Woah! Quite a ride - I liked the steampunk London setting, but the story was a bit out there, with an unexplained Mad King George turned vampiric / murderous. V odd! Plenty of action, with twists and turns, but a bit bonkers.
Kerry Sharp
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Clever and consistent telling in an alternate London. The characterisation is good with enough left to fill in later novels.
I was always going to finish it but I found it hard work, it lacked a little pace.
Felicia Allen
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i couldn't put it down! I can't wait to read number 2
Matt Kelland
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
A wonderful world with elements of science and fantasy: I loved the way that the engineering disciplines were turned into religions, and the great scientists had become priests.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A wonderful story. I liked Nicholas and hope he survives to the very end. There was plenty of action, which I liked. I hope to read more.
J.M. Cowan
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF in the first chapter.
Aviar Savijon
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sunken

A Grande scale journey and adventure over time, to make this excellent steampunk fantasy tale. With Nicholas and Bridgette. I Loved it.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First steampunk book I have read & I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I was dubious about steampunk but was soon into it & enjoying it. The mix works amazingly well. Well written.
Frederick Allen
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a digital copy of The Sunken, Book 1 of the Engine Ward series via LibraryThings, for a review. The opinions expressed in the following are my own – and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell.

The Sunken has to be one of the strangest, yet interesting, books that I have ever read. The story is a Steampunk alternate reality, but unlike the more famous stories in the genre, this novel incorporates aspects of anime, horror and dino-fantasy into a strange and new beast.


The story begins
Eustacia Tan
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm finally back in Japan and back to reviewing books. I've missed a lot (a few NetGalley items I was approved of has been archived -cries-), but well, there's not time to spare! Today, I'm here to review The Sunken by S C Green as part of Enchanted Books Blog Tour.

The Sunken is a fascinating read set in an Alternate Universe during the time of King George III. There are a few main characters - Nicholas Rose/Nicholas Thorne, a brilliant architect that's also running from something. Aaron, a Sto
Book Review originally published here:

Imagine King George III as a vampire. Now, imagine a steampunk, dark fantasy world, in which people worship the gods of Industrialism, as opposed to the rest of Europe, which still practises christianity.

The novel starts off by introducing us to the three main characters as youngsters: Nicholas, James and Isambard. When something terrible happens, Nicholas and James are shocked, but Isambard gains a strange connection
Katrina Waldman
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. When I first opened it, I honestly didn't know what to expect! I have never read any form of Steampunk before and in those cases I normally go for a well known, well recommended book to introduce me to the genre. The synopsis for this one looked so interesting however that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do something a bit different and give this book a go. From start to finish, I couldn't have been more happy ...more
Amie's Book Reviews
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-ebooks
THE SUNKEN by S.C. Green is a Steam-Punk fantasy novel set in an alternate reality in the year 1830.

The author has imagined a complex world with London, England at it's center. The King of England has declared Christianity illegal and instead the residents of England worship the Gods of Industrialism.

There are trains, dragons, steam powered machinery, complex social stations and priests who worship such things as The Great Conductor.

Aaron Williams and Isambard Brunel are Stokers. They live in
Concetta Phillipps
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
What do I like about this book: the sprawling scope of an alternative universe.
What do I not like about this book: the sprawling scope of an alternative universe.

I was really excited to get this book for free from the author because it was part of an anthology where I didn't want any of the other books. The universe sounded fun, and the premise sounded interesting - monsters, dragons, science, and a world full of steampunk gadgets where the computer isn't invented and the people are making robot
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2014
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can find this, and other reviews, on my blog.

The Sunken is a delightful exploration of an alternative Georgian England - one where industry is god, dragons still exist, and something is lurking in the palace.

I really enjoyed this portrayal of steampunky England - a place where industry isn’t just a feature, but the new religion with different sects following different Industrian gods. There’s a lot going on in this book - each
Ngaire Bookiemonster
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read the whole review on BookieMonster.

The Sunken takes us on a journey with three characters: Isambard Brunel, son of an engineering master and himself a genius; Nicholas Thorne, aspiring architect and animal empath; and James Holman, blind naval veteran and frustrated world traveller. When we first meet the trio they are school friends and a gruesome tragedy is about to catapult them in varying directions.

I’m not going to go into the plot in immense detail because a) I don’t want to give anyth
Rosie Amber
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Sunken is Book #1 in The Gauge Wars series of SteamPunk books. The setting is Industrial London in the 1800s, but set in an alternative reality. King George III is on the throne, but dubbed a mad man and "The Vampire King". There is great steam invention rivalry between Robert Stephenson and Isambard Brunel.

Christian Religion has been replaced by engineering sects, with followers of as many different leaders as world religion has today. The highest position held by the Messiah of the Church
Phoenix Hunt
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
The idea behind S.C. Green's The Sunken was brilliant. Dinosaurs, industrioulized religious sects and steampunk inventions were a perfect trifecta that caught the reader's attention and imagination. The characters were compelling. Nicholas and Adam, who share a very unique gift, were both very intricate characters. However, my favorite was James Holman, their blind friend who showed that the world isn't made up only of visible objects, but also of sounds and scents.

Despite the elements that mak
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm fairly new to Steampunk, but the few movies I've seen and the one short story I've read prior to this book were enough for me to be interested in trying out more of the genre’s offerings. The Sunken by S.C. Green has the added benefit of being Horror AND there’s dragons! However, the dragons aren't the main cause of the horrific events. Needless to say, the combination of these elements is surprising and interesting.

Unfortunately, I have to give a trigger warning, since the story contains wh
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S C Green lives in an off-grid house on a slice of rural paradise near Auckland, New Zealand, with her cantankerous drummer husband, their two cats, and their medieval sword collection. She writes dark, dystopian fantasy featuring heavy historical elements. Her latest novel, The Sunken, explores an alternative Georgian London where dinosaurs still survive. The second book in the series, The Gauge ...more

Other books in the series

Engine Ward (3 books)
  • The Gauge War (Engine Ward #2)
  • Thorn (Engine Ward #3)

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