Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook ★★★★

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Genre: Steampunk (Victorian setting, strong female protagonist, prejudice, explicit sex scenes, England, Alpha male)
Series: Book one in The Iron Seas series
Original Language: English
Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group
Country: USA
Publication Date: October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-425-23667-3
Page Count: 378
My Rating: ★★★★

Summary

Seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas, where nanotech is fused with Victorian sensibilities—and steam.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

REVIEW


This was my first Steampunk novel and also my first look at author Meljean Brook's writing. Both of which I was suitably impressed with.

The world-building was extensive and quite frankly would take too long to try to summarise. If I even begin with the whole nano-agents stuff we're going to be here 'til Christmas, but suffice it to say, it was well thought-out, a little complex in places but this could be due to me being a complete noob, and thoroughly imaginative and enjoyable.

The overall plot was a grand high seas adventure with a little mystery thrown in that was just intricate enough- Any more on top of all that world-building I had to absorb and I don't think my brain could have coped. But as it was, it was a gentle enough part of the story that I managed fine. Although a couple of the characters names were very similar which befuddled me occasionally... but that was just a small thing. And probably my fault.

The main thing I will take away from this book is the great characterisation of both Rhys and Mina, the two MC's. I absolutely adored Mina. Her voice was the dominant one of the two, although we did hear from Rhys as well, but it was mostly Mina and she was just delightful. I loved her. Rhys on the other hand started out a bit of an arse, and ended up... a bit of an arse that I love despite him being a bit of an arse.

The romantic relationship built at a good pace. She made him wait quite a bit, which I appreciated. They were both flawed and slightly damaged characters, but strong nonetheless. And I also appreciated the depth of feeling that was evident from both sides by the end of the book . It was great on that score.

I do have to admit to laughing at some of the vernacular. As a Brit, the fact that the infected humans were called 'buggers' caused endless bouts of giggles from me. I also loved that she kept calling people 'Old knackers'. It makes a nice change to see words like that in my books. Made me feel right at home!

I will definitely be checking out more from this author and this genre. A great read.

3 comments:

  1. Great review! I have this book on my Nook I just need to make the time to read it. Thanks for this spoiler free review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm, Steampunk. Never tried that genre. This book does sound very interesting. I laughed about the buggers thing. I have a Brit friend and I used that word one time in our email communication and she wrote back laughing her butt off at me. She later explained why it was funny. I didn't know at the time what it meant to your guys. lol.

    Jennifer @ Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @NTM I know the feeling, so many books, so little time. I try to always be spoiler free as well. I actually get quite annoyed when reviewers "over share".

      @ Jennifer- OMG it was killing me! I totally lost it at one point when she was considering the best weapon to use against a "rampant bugger" *Me, on the floor, not getting up any time soon* lol

      Delete

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