The Thunder Heist: The Twisted Seas Book 1 by Jed Herne

A splendid and dangerous romp with deadly stakes.

This is my first foray into Jed Herne’s body of work, but it won’t be the last. The Thunder Heist is a splendid adventure tale of a unique thief. Replete with violence, vengeance, and monsters, Hearne has populated this tale with colorful and dangerous characters, both human and mutant. With a strong female protagonist at the center of the story, possessing a unique gift she keeps hidden from the world, but doesn’t hesitate to use when the ends justify the means. The relatively familiar urban technology is blended with alchemy that is delightful and deadly. The clean writing and wise-cracking dialogue builds depth into the characters. The world-building is detailed in sights, sounds, and scents. It completely immerses you from the start into this strange and brutal world with many delightful and suspenseful twists throughout.

The Thunder Heist starts off with action packed chapters that throw us directly into the story and introduce us to our protagonist, Kef Cutwork. A woman whose will is bent to one goal and one goal only, to get into the Lightning tower of the city-ship, Zorith, and steal its source of power. This power source freed the city-ship from the burden of processing oil for power from the sea weed farms and oil processing plants that other city-ships must solely rely upon. Their clean power source is the envy of the seas, and many other city-ships would swoop in to claim it should it shows any signs of weakness they could exploit.

This is a cleverly imagined world called the Twisted Seas. Where humans have been pushed off land by monsters and have built cities from hundreds of ships of all sizes, all anchored together by miles of chains. The floating city ships also face monsters from the deep, as well as raging storms on the seas.

Of the common populace, only Kef knows the hidden secret of the Lightning Tower. Along with a very few select men in positions of government power and their closest guards. Even the architect of the tower itself does not know the truth.

Kef has been roaming the seas on her own for 15 years, dreaming of a way to avenge an abusive childhood in Zorith, a nightmare from which she escaped at the age of fourteen. She is a strong and able-bodied sailor, and a thief, with the wits and weapons to leave a trail of havoc and destruction across the Twisted Seas as she works on her master plan. A way to exact revenge combined with the biggest heist ever conceived.

Meet Kef Cutmark. Pirate, monster-slayer, scourge of the Twisted Seas. After a lifetime of running from her past, she’s returned to Zorith – a tangled jungle of a thousand boats, all lashed together to make a floating city-ship. Zorith is powered by a device that draws energy from lightning. Mysterious, unique, and locked in an unbreachable tower, it’s the envy of Zorith’s rivals. And Kef? She’s here to steal it.

If she can take the device and cripple Zorith, maybe she’ll find justice for all the hurt the city has caused her. But with an unreliable thieving crew, hunters closing in, and her past bearing down upon her, failure looks more likely. And if she fails, she’ll never find peace again.

A perfect escape from the mundane, The Thunder Heist is a violent and hair-raising adventure. I’d highly recommend this to fans of steampunk, urban, and piratical fantasy. This book has all the right elements for you.

Publication date : October 19, 2020

Publisher : Undergrove Press (October 19, 2020)

Print length : 192 pages


4.5/5 ⭐️

About the Author:

Jed Herne is a fantasy author from Perth, Western Australia. His books include the #1 Amazon Bestselling fantasy novella, Fires of the Dead, and the epic space fantasy novel, Across the Broken Stars. His short stories have been published in The Arcanist, Scarlet Leaf Review, Flintlock, and more.

Outside of writing, he hosts The Novel Analyst Podcast, The Half-Baked Stories Improvised Storytelling Podcast, and The Jed Herne Audio Experience. He also has a YouTube channel filled with hours of writing advice.

You can find Jed Herne online at

More from Jed Herne:

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