In a land built on steampunk contraptions and demonic beings, The Incorruptibles mixes the dangerous ingenuity and extravagance of ancient Rome, with the hard corruption of the wild west. Along with a dash of fantasy, this cross-genre novel harbours both ingenuity and intrigue.
‘The Hardscrabble Territories’ are an unforgiving land, filled with all manner of terrors, where roughened men seek solace for their sins in the fiery depths of the bottle. Damnation is not only rife, but physically apparent, as demon spawn and hell fire fuel mankind’s greed. Jacobs’ gritty western dialect and fluid description creates a harsh yet vivid world of ever-present hardship.
The Incorruptibles is told from the perspective of Shoestring, a half-man, half-draevgar, striving to make his way in life whilst avoiding the consuming darkness around. Alongside his hard-jawed, quick-handed partner Fisk, the two battle for survival as they become embroiled in the hazardous whims of the rich and the powerful. From torture to mindless killing, Jacobs explores the limitless nature of man’s tolerance for death and cruelty in the face of dominance and wealth.
Demons, darkness and damnation, this novel is the first of its kind, merging both history and fantasy in a gripping narrative. John Hornor Jacobs is truly a creative author.
Length: 303 (Gollancz)
Overall Rating: 3.5 stars