The Sunken by S.C. Green
Series: Engine Ward #1
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In the heart of London lies the Engine Ward, a district forged in coal and steam, where the great Engineering Sects vie for ultimate control of the country. For many, the Ward is a forbidding, desolate place, but for Nicholas Thorne, the Ward is a refuge.
Deep within the bowels of the Ward, Nicholas can finally escape his strange affliction – the thoughts of animals that crowd his head. The shadows of his past hang over him, forcing him to remain hidden alongside the Stokers – a forgotten people who toil day and night to keep the boilers of the Ward constantly firing, so that the engine of progress may continue to hum.
But rebellion is stirring within the ranks of The Stokers, led by Nicholas' childhood friend, the brilliant engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Forbidden to do the work that brings him his only joy, Brunel innovates in secret, his mind growing ever more twisted by the desire for knowledge.
Battles rage in the shadows of bizarre buildings at the heart of this nightmarish alternative London. As men transform into flesh-eating monsters, Nicholas and Brunel seek a way to restore peace – will London's salvation come from a mechanical army, or on the backs of prehistoric beasts?
The Sunken is the first book in the Engine Ward fantasy series by S C Green. For fans of China Mieville and Neal Stephenson who want to explore the clash of religion, technology, and bestiary in a city on the cusp of industrial revolution.