Akers, Tim -- Heart of Veridon

You know how the canonical fantasy badass is described as an nasty, violent person? It's interesting to read one who actually is. I don't mean he beats people up at random; I mean that when a fight starts, he wins by getting in close and causing damage until the other guy stops. I don't know. Maybe this is normal for movies, but this book gets it across as not stagy or cartoon violence. Maybe I'm just making excuses for finding a character interesting whose type usually repels me.

This book has zeppelins and clockwork engines, but it's Mieville-dark-fantasy in tone rather than anything one could describe with a "punk" suffix. The cogwork is mostly (and ickily) implanted in people, for example to make them cyborg pilots capable of interfacing with a zeppelin. Jacob Burn crashed his first zeppelin and thus ruined his life. He's a passenger on another, on Business, when someone runs amuck through the bridge and leaves him in charge with a macguffin ticking in his pocket. It's all angels, chase scenes, criminal masterminds, and crashing zeppelins after that. Burn is just sympathetic enough, I guess, due to nobody telling him what's going on and having police and monsters constantly on his ass. Downside: his girlfriend exists only to demonstrate every single love-interest plot trope in as few pages as possible.

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