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John Hornor Jacobs Books In Order

Publication Order of Twelve-Fingered Boy Books

The Twelve-Fingered Boy (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shibboleth (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Conformity (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Incorruptibles Books

The Incorruptibles (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Foreign Devils (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Infernal Machines (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Southern Gods (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
This Dark Earth (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

John Hornor Jacobs is an award-winning multi-genre American novelist from Arkansas. He is known for writing in a variety of genres from survival epics to teen-oriented fantasies to a combination of steampunk and Roman combinations such as “The Incorruptibles” series. The Arkansas born Jacobs is a senior art director and partner at Cranford Co., an advertising agency in Little Rock Arkansas, the town in which he was born. Jacobs’s first novel was a southern Gothic thriller titled “Southern Gods.” The novel won the Darrel Award and won a nomination for the Bram Stoker Award for Excellence. His next novel was a zombie novel titled “This Dark Earth” that Brian Keene said was the best zombie novel he had ever read in years. He went on to write the mesmerizing young adult novel series “Incarcerado” the first novel of which was “The Twelve Fingered Boy.” He continued his fine streak when he shifted to fantasy novel with the “Incorruptibles” series of novels of which the first novel got a nomination for the Morningstar and Gemmell Awards. Jacob’s fiction has appeared in the likes of Apex Magazine, Playboy Magazine, and Cemetery Dance while his essays have been featured on Huffington Post and CBS Weekly. Jacob currently lives in the south of the US and loves to spend most of his time writing or thinking about his next title.

Jacobs traces his love for writing right back to the Cold War of the 70s and 80s when his father would terrorize him with talk of nuclear fallout. It was during this time that movies and TV shows were also full of apocalyptic scenarios involving nuclear war. He would fantasize about building a bomb shelter, drew sketches and even dug one in the backyard before he was stopped by his mother. It was not a surprise then that his first-ever story was about a boy who lived in a post-apocalyptic world, where he had to fight radioactive mutants when he was in the third grade. His mother still has a copy of that story. He never did set out to become an author though when he was eleven, he was once found with a book in his waders by his father’s friend. He was thirty-seven when he formally declared that he wanted to write a novel but he never did say that he wanted to become an author. He had worked as a creative in advertising for many years working on TV commercials, making animations, writing copy, programming websites and designing that writing a novel did not seem like an insurmountable task. He got down to writing during the 2007 National Novel Month and published “Southern Gods” in 2011. He has asserted that his novels are in tone and theme similar to the likes of those of Abercrombie. He has also said that his Incorruptibles work series are similar in plot and character to the likes of George RR Martin, Roger Zelazny, TimPowers, Ursula Leguin, and Robin Hobb.

“The Incorruptibles” series by John Hornor Jacobs is a combination of Roman Empire, steampunk, the Wild West with a pinch of Dante, Tolkien, and Lovecraft. The inhabitants of the novels are the Rumans who rule the world while the Fisk and Shoe are at the bottom of the pyramid and serve as mercenaries. The narrative is told by a half-dwarf named Shoestring who tells a story of people getting mauled, scalped, shot, set on fire and dying in horrifying ways. The Rumans use these ways to try to control their empire by fighting the almost mythological and immortal stretches and exploiting the silver mines. They harness daemons to develop an industrialized society where enslaved imps far nastier and larger than daemons produce power machinery. The empire is full of hellfire weapons and Shoe narrates stories of daemons being set free from bullets once they are fired. The Incorruptibles are action-packed and fast-paced novels with its unique mix of Ancient Rome, Westerns, and daemons that makes for a dark fantasy style reminiscent of “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King. While there is a lot of gore in the novel, there are streaks of humor to contrast the violence as Jacobs comes into his element to write one of his best works.

“The Incorruptibles” by Hornor Jacobs opens to a boat heading laboriously upstream to the unexplored and contested territories on the frontier of the empire. The mercenaries protecting it are composed of bandits, raiders, and elf-like natives named stretchers who are ready to kill anyone that intrudes into their land. The mercenaries are well aware of the dangers of their work but they have to do it. The drunk governor safe in the knowledge that his mercenaries are protecting him is partying with daughters and sons in the boat. They have an attitude that their elite status makes them untouchable though they could not be more wrong. When a naïve mercenary saves the governor from certain death as he is out hunting, the two groups are forced into an alliance. Shoe and Fisk are two honorable and tough mercenaries who live in a world full of corruption and hence they have to rely on each other for their survival. The nobles are very powerful and nobody dares cross them and sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away.

In “Foreign Devils,” the world is on the brink of war and Shoe and Fisk who do not want to get entangled in the political whirlwind still have to find a very dangerous man and deliver a critical message. They have gotten the attention of some of the most powerful men in the world which means that the stakes could not have been higher. Meanwhile, the Emperor has commanded Livia Cornelius to travel to the frontier lands of the Autumn Lords even though she is heavily pregnant with Fisk’s child. The diplomatic mission will require that she travels halfway across the world and deal with a variety of new dangers. Ultimately, she will unearth a shocking truth about the Empire of the Autumn Lords that will change the world and make the petty politics of war and peace irrelevant. But in the meantime, Rume is under attack and their world is burning. With the nature of the Autumn Lords revealed the Emperor loses his mind and Fisk and Shoe will be forced to try find Fisk’s wife that had been sent on a wild goose chase mission while pregnant. They will be quite a lot of twists and turns but Livius is determined to be reunited with her lover Fisk and show him his son. And Shoe may just have the plan to make it possible.

John Hornor Jacobs “Infernal Machines” is the last novel featuring Shoe and Fisk. It is an intricate story with a setting in the pseudo-American Wild West where demonology has replaced the power of gunpowder. Non-human races take on the same names as humans even as gunslingers fight side by side with machines. The rulers of the Tchinee Empire, the Autumn Lords have been exposed and Rume is under attack. The emperor has gone insane and the unlikely heroes in all the chaos are Shoe and Fisk. But they still have to make their way to Livius and the child she bore to Fisk.

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