Book Review: The Kraken King by Meljean Brook

The Kraken King by Meljean BrookTitle: The Kraken King
Series: The Iron Seas, Book 4
Author: Meljean Brook
Genre: Steampunk
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy provided by NetGalley
Published: November 4, 2014 by Berkley

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.

But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Awesome steampunk world with a strong romance. I do admit the book is loooong and I was ready to have both the romance and the plot wrapped up.

Why I Read This Book: I love steampunk and Brook is a genius at writing the genre.

What I Liked: I loved both Zenobia and Ariq and their relationship. Zenobia grows in confidence as the novel progresses  and I loved watching it unfold. For instance, Zenobia is quite used to being kidnapped and then rescued but in this novel she learns self-reliance and this builds her confidence—I loved it! Ariq is another great character. He’s strong but emotionally open to Zenobia and that is rare in romance. Their relationship has slow development but it felt organic, especially for the wary Zenobia. Ariq’s tenacity pairs so well with Zenobia’s caution that I enjoyed watching these two circle each other.

What I Also Liked: The huge sci-fi nerd in me loves steampunk and this book brings it! We have mechanical limbs grafted to humans, airships, electrified and living hot air balloons, mechanical torture beetles and the list goes on and on. The world is utterly fascinating to me, where Europe is invested with zombies and America practices isolation. The Mongolian Horde rule the world through nanobots that many people are infected with. The war machine that is central to the plot turned out to be something so cool! I just love this world and can’t wait to read more in the series.

What I Didn’t Like: As much as I loved the world and the relationship this is like holy, batman long! I read about 125 pages an hour and it took me over 6 hours to read this book. I was ready after hour 4 for Zenobia to stop fighting her feelings for Ariq and for the plot involving Ariq’s mysterious war machine to be resolved. I have to also mention that the book had to keep interrupting Zenobia and Ariq’s sexy times and I got mighty sick of that pussy-blocking!

IMO: I loved the characters, romance and world building of this book but only recommend it for readers who have long attention spans.



J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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