Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Dead of Veridon review

This is the second book in (what I assume) will be a series set in the city of Veridon. 
In case you don’t know, Veridon is a kind of sci-fi/ steampunk city which in inhabited by a cast of strange characters and is powered by incredible cog-driven technology.
I should confess right now that I had not read the previous book in this series when this one fell into my hands. But, you know when you read reviews where the reviewer says that you don’t need to read the first book before reading this one, and it is not always true? Well, I can confidently say that in this case it is.
Author Tim Akers is deft at weaving the backstory of the main character and explaining what has gone on previously into the main narrative of this book. This, it should be made clean, is no mean feat. It takes a writer of some skill to do this without it looking clunky.
But anyway- on with the book!
Looking back on it after reading it I realised just how ridiculously fast paced it is. It’s a fairy large tome at 360-odd pages, but in no way seems it. The writing is very very good indeed. The plot is just brilliant- I’m not particularly well read in either the steampunk or zombie genres (genri?), so this book, which from a certain light could be seen as a combination of the two, is a treat.
There are a few stand out sequences in here – but my dislike of spoilers forbids me from talking about a lot of when goes on here- but the scene depicted in the marvellous cover image (which takes place at the beginning of the book, so I think I can talk about it) in which our ‘hero’ journeys deep beneath the river that feeds the city of Veridon is supremely creepy and is a testament to Akers’s ability to paint a picture with the minimum of fuss.
Which brings us to the afore mentioned ‘hero’. It’s in inverted commas because he isn’t a hero. Jacob Burn is really just a slightly likeable, but mainly quite selfish and lazy, petty criminal who, through accident of birth and an ability to be in the wrong place, is pulled into this world of high adventure and intrigue.
Again, Akers does a great job with the characters. The dialogue, especially between Jacob and his ‘sidekick’ sparks with a wonderful warmth and humour.
So, in closing- and just in case you have missed the tone of the review- I was really impressed by this book. It was a very entertaining read- well written well plotted and very exciting.
I want to read the next one now, please.

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