Maybe you aren’t familiar with steampunk. Maybe you don’t love it. Maybe you haven’t read the earlier installments in the Iron Seas series. Maybe you’ve never even heard of Meljean Brook. It. Does. Not. Matter. You need to buy this book now and read it. You need to get swept up in the adventure. You need to swoon over the romance. And then you can join the rest of us who can do nothing but gush over just how wonderful this story is.
I read all 8 parts as one continuous story because I have read serials before and I know the format does not work for me. But don’t let that discourage you, if you want to check out Part 1, just to see if it’s right for you, I think it will give you enough of a taste to decide whether to go forward. Honestly, I was hooked before I turned the page to start Part 2 and it only got better as I continued to read. You don’t need to have read the previous books in the series, although there are references to prior events. This stands alone just fine –and it may even inspire you to go back and read the earlier installments.
The story follows Zenobia Fox, a woman who has spent her adult life writing stories based on her brother’s wild adventures. She loves what she does and she adores her brother, but his exploits have put her in danger countless times. Usually, she is kidnapped and held for ransom, so bad men can exploit her brother’s success. Now, she travels with bodyguards to keep her safe. Only, not even they can stop a group of marauders from targeting their airship. Fortunately, Zenobia’s quick thinking and theirs allows them to survive and escape into the protection of a nearby ship.
That ship belongs to the Kraken King… or at least that is name that follows his reputation. Members of the town that he founded call him Governor. His friends and family call him Ariq. His number one priority is protecting Krakentown from the marauders who have been targeting airships all around his territory. He has no plans for his attraction to the sharp and fascinating Zenobia to interfere with that. But that doesn’t mean he can’t try to find a way to get her in bed and protect the town at the same time.
I don’t want to spoil the particulars, but I’ll tell you that the story is sweeping. It takes the characters to new lands. They face enemies on many fronts and there is danger in every leg of their journey. The pacing is fantastic, with each designed part of the serial like a tv show episode, while the entire book is the equivalent of an entire season. That means no part is boring. Every page I read made me want to read the next page and then the next.
The world building is spectacular. It’s not like anything I have ever read –and I read a lot. But the true stars of the stories are the characters. They are so rich and three dimensional. I felt like I knew them. I cared about them. I understood what motivated them. From our core couple, to the secondary characters, they all mattered. From the very beginning, I cared about both Ariq and Zenobia and that only grew with each passing chapter. Both evolve so much over the course of the story with all they must overcome –and even more profoundly, as they grow to love one another.
The romance is utterly swoon-worthy. I loved how he loved her. It was so pure and true. I loved watching him break down her walls and earn a place in her heart. And I loved the complete devotion she ends up showing him in return. And the sex is sooo hot. Basically perfect.
I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t love about this book. It’s one of the best I have read this year. Go buy it and find a comfortable chair. You won’t want to put it down.
*ARC Provided by Berkley
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Kraken King
by Meljean Brook