The Thunder Heist by Jed Herne

The Thunder Heist by Jed Herne

ARC of The Thunder Heist supplied by the author Jed Herne.

About the Book
Series: Twisted Seas #1Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publishing: October 19th 2020Publisher: Self-Published
Book Blurb
The Thunder Heist by Jed Herne

A relentless thief. An impossible heist.

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.

Quote of the Book

“A metal hull loomed before her. She bumped into the hull, grabbing onto ridges where the metal folded over each other. Gripping the hull, she pulled herself down. The darkness grew thicker. Once she’d dropped far enough, she shook a glow cube to activate its light. The pale blue light didn’t dispel much of the gloom, but it was bright enough to show the depth markings on the hull. She was two-thirds of the way down that she needed to be. 

Kef pulled herself deeper, tightness beginning to clamp against her lungs. She should still have plenty of air, though. Holding her glow cube above her wrist, she glanced at her waterproof timepiece. Forty seconds down. She’d managed three minutes of breath-holding in a contest, once. If everything went to plan, she’d be inside the Lightning Tower well before that.”

Song of the Book

Because a supremely fun book needs a song that is just as fun!

Imagine DragonsThunder (not a very original choice, eh?)


I spotted the promotions for this book on Twitter – pirates, thieves, and lightning harvesting…not the combination of keywords you see every day; I knew then that I had to read it. Thank you to Mihir for putting me in touch with the author, and to the author Jed Herne, for setting me up with an ARC of The Thunder Heist.

This was action-packed, edge-of-your-seat pacing, and fun as hell. I blew through this one in just a few hours. A unique setting kind of Waterworld meets the Italian Job…minus the mini-car chase but the underwater scenes were just as breath-stealing. Exactly the kind of read I was needing to break up the epic-sized stories that have been on my plate lately.

I loved the world. It was full of so many neat ideas.

A post-apocalyptic world or at least a world on the edge of other more advanced societies, as there are mention of fallen debris from the sky -travelers and repurposing various things found in the ocean. There is land but it is populated with aggressive monsters and too dangerous to try and settle (the water has monsters too, but to a lesser degree).

Ship-cities – boats and ships and other floating craft, lashed together. Some of these ship-cities float freely and others were stationary. Oil supplies most of their power sources but the people of the ship-city of Zorith harness lightning to power their city (similar to Atlantis in Stargate).

The population is made up of varied races – some were self-explaining like the Gillers (fish-people) and the Winged-people but, then there were the Crystalcoats, who had a mutation that slowly petrifies them. Which I found incredibly intriguing and horrifying at the same time.

The cast isn’t huge.

We have Kef, our lead, and main POV. She’s tough as nails and set on her path. She’s prickly, insensitive, and un-empathetic. She does warm-up to us but it takes awhile to break through her shell. When it comes to her goals; which are so fueled by anger and purpose, when the tough decisions are presented, and opportunities for revenge I could not guess what her choice was going to be. I knew what I hoped they would be but she already proved to me that where her goals are concerned, she wasn’t the soft-hearted kind of girl.

Kef’s team is made up of a couple of old folks and a teen. There is Gabine, the engineer who helped build the lightning harvester. Harold, a friend from Kef’s past who works in alchemy. And Squine, the Giller that Kef hired out his use of, from the local equivalent of the mob. (Gillers are owned)

I liked that the team was so unique, in ages and skills and I enjoyed the intro to them during the set-up to the heist part of the story. I did wish to see them more hands-on during the key moments of the break-in, but their skill-sets were to do with the prepping than the actual heist itself.

Outside the team, there is Bartholomew, a highborn who hopes to benefit from favors that will get him on the good side with the new leaders (and higher socially from his association with them).

And Exoran, the newly elected captain in the city of Zorith. On the surface, he is not a nice guy but later we see there’s more to him than meets the eye. He and Kef have some bad blood between them. I think she would be pretty happy to kill him and I have to admit, I can’t blame her.

The Thunder Heist was a good fun popcorn read with a little bit of darkness to give it some bite. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out in the next book.

Other notes

I have to mention the cool artwork inside. A nice touch and beautifully done pieces. Coincidentally, this is the second book I’ve read recently with illustrations! Love it and I hope this is an upcoming trend.

Our Judgement
Let Their Deeds Be Noted - 4 Crowns