Everyone on the street that day saw a lunatic wearing strange brass goggles, swinging an invisible sword on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle. But Jacob recognizes what the man is really doing—playing a game in augmented reality. When the game’s creator offers him his own goggles, Jacob enters a city he thinks he knows. But towering monuments of Victorian architecture have replaced the skyscrapers. Airships float between the buildings. Fearsome enemies, from steam-powered rabbits to clockwork werewolves lurk in every shadow.
But with the game comes a quest, and to the victors go the deed to Steam Whistle Alley, the social and financial heart of the game. Jacob, his biosynthetic monkey Banjo, and the rest of the team must face off against foes who want the alley for themselves. Some of his adversaries, however, aren’t part of the quest at all. They don’t want the alley. They want the company, and the death they bring is not the kind Jacob can respawn from.