Heart of Veridon (Burn Cycle) (Volume 1)
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The first novel in Tim Akers’ captivating steampunk-noir series, The Burn Cycle.
Captain-turned-criminal Jacob Burn is the unlikely survivor of two zepliner crashes. The first destroyed his career as a pilot, disgracing his nobleman father and ending his life of privilege. But the second threatens to destroy Burn’s whole world—Veridon, an ancient terraced city reborn through The Church of the Algorithm’s recent advances in mechanics, technology, and cog-work.
Moments before the Glory of Day wrecked, a former underworld associate of Burn’s handed him an unusual and complicated cog for safekeeping. But the artifact-cog quickly draws Burn unwanted attention—too much of it, from too many of Veridon’s most powerful factions, casting doubt on even his closest allies.
A far more dangerous and unpredictable enemy has also joined the manhunt, carving a bloody trail across the city, while Burn’s frantic search for answers only leads to more questions. At the heart of it all, the mysterious cog, which hides a secret potent enough to shake Veridon to its very core, and recast Burn’s entire existence.
seem too anxious to get close to us. “We have a reputation,” Wilson said. “How are we going to get out of here?” “Over here,” I said. I led him to the nearest hangar and inside. The Thunderous Dawn was still half unmoored. I pried open the crew door and dragged Emily inside. We took her to the mess hall and lay her on a table. “They’re going to look in here eventually,” Wilson said. “We can’t hide here forever.” “We’re not hiding. We’re escaping.” “What do you mean?” “This is an airship.
places, the places Marcus had gone, a trip that we two should have taken together. Maybe. I got out there, far out. The water was past my shoulders. The mud under my feet was unsure. I fell, the river bottom falling away without warning. I flailed. The boat pushed out from me, my fingertips just barely guiding it in a straight line into the current. I went under and thought about staying there. I remembered Wright Morgan and the dark currents of the Fehn. Still, I stayed for a moment, felt the
we’ll see. We’ll let the boss talk that out for you.” “Sure.” I was still on edge from last night, tired and wired and itchy to find Emily and that damned Cog. That could be it, though. Em could have gotten the Cog to Valentine, and maybe Valentine wanted to talk about it. Maybe. Not sure why that warranted an armed escort, though. They led me to a quiet street on the River Road, the wooden sidewalk under our feet echoing hollowly. We stopped at a house, literally just stopped. Cacher and the
in the corner of our little room, sitting on his hands and watching us argue. “What does that mean to us?” he asked. “If we’re serious about figuring out what’s going on here, it means we have to go get it,” I said. I took my revolver out and laid it on the coat, then started to disassemble and clean it. “Yeah. So what? We break into the Manor Tomb and steal it?” “Probably not,” Emily said. “That’s probably too much of a task, even for the great Jacob Burn.” “Yeah, yeah.” I kept focused on
working with you. Isn’t that right?” He seemed to leer up from his watery bed. “That must be a feeling you’re getting used to, eh? Being cut out, like a sickness.” “I am not alone. Friends stand with me. You don’t know the whole game, old man.” He was distracting me, diverting my attention from the central point. “What is my father’s role in this? What is your Family’s role? If I’m meant to be a part of it, as you imply, then how can I be of any help if no one will tell me what’s going on?”