Heart of Veridon (#1)

Next: Dead of Veridon (#2)

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.


“This impressive first novel mixes steampunk, fantasy, and noir in the colorful city of Veridon.”


“The action keeps the pages turning, and readers will want more novels set in this world.”

Library Journal

“Imaginative and absorbing.”

Ranting Dragon

“I absolutely loved this book. I was impressed with how Akers hit the necessary noir-style dialogue pitch perfect, and how he managed to tell a compelling noir-mystery inside the confines of an urban fantasy. Veridon is an amazing place to visit, and if you are like me, you’ll want to go back again and again.”


“If you like action then this is the book for you .”

SF Crowsnest

“The world building in the novel is outstanding. A notable 2009 [novel] for me and highly recommended.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“Highly recommended for anyone who likes well-written action-packed adventure.”

Fantasy Literature

“Akers has barely scratched the surface of [Veridon’s] potential […] on the strength of this showing he will not be returning to Veridon alone.”


“Filled with wonders […] If Solaris can find more promising writers like Akers the owners should be very happy with the results.”

Critical Mass

Awards & Accolades


#8 Fantasy Book Critic: “SFF Book of 2009”


Library Journal and Ranting Dragon: “Top 20 Steampunk”