The Kraken King, Part I:
The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster
GENRE: Steampunk; Romance
LENGTH: @ 76pgs (PDF converted to Kindle)
HEAT LEVEL (content): n/a for Part I
PUBLISHER (pub date): InterMix/Penguin (Apr 15, 2014)
SERIES INFO: Iron Seas 4.10
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…
Meljean Brook feeds my creative & literary soul
*** ARC provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley ***
With the latest addition to the Iron Seas series, Meljean Brook proves once again why she is an auto-buy for me, as well as a go-to author when I hit a book slump. If The Kraken King, Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (‘The Scribbling Spinster’) is any indication, then the whole of The Kraken King promises to be another 5-star delicious romp. Based on my read of Part I (and II), I most definitely recommend The Kraken King to fans of steampunk and/or those who enjoy a well-written storyline with equal parts adventure and romance.
I briefly thought to title this review as ‘Meljean Brook once again delivers the complete package’. But then I realised that it might be an overstretch (and somewhat premature) given that The Scribbling Spinster is only the first installment of eight. *grins* I admit that my heart sank when I learned that the next Iron Seas book would be a serial but consoled myself with the notion that Ms. Brook decided on this format as a nod to the heroine, who is a writer of serial adventures. (Inkslinger... *snicker*)
As with past Iron Seas books, The Scribbling Spinster easily met all of my expectations. Meljean Brook’s vivid and imaginative world-building and interesting characters (both primary and secondary) captivated my creative soul whilst her witty dialogue and teasing innuendos tickled my funny bone. And then, her narrative writing and imagery satisfied my literary soul with lines such as this:
The heated air wavered around them. As the miles passed, they veered west, until the sea shimmered on the right. … In the east, green hills lay against the horizon like an exhausted woman.
The Scribbling Spinster consists of Chapters 1-3 (converted to roughly @ 76pgs on my Kindle) but I already love the main characters. Zenobia Fox, Archimedes’s sister who is oft-mentioned in earlier Iron Seas books, reveals her stalwart nature from the get-go as the airship on which she is traveling is attacked. She is a bundle of contradictions—adventurous in spirit if not necessarily in body, fanciful yet pragmatic, shadowed by her childhood and private fears yet seemingly a strong presence to others. Whilst not as dashing or (in)famous as her sister-in-law, Yasmeen (aka Captain Corsair), Zenobia possesses intelligence and a quiet strength which, I imagine, will be tested in future installments.
Ariq (aka the Kraken King) promises to be a swoon-worthy hero, early impressions aside. I mean, I get insta-lust and directness but “On the flyer, I liked the feel of you against me. Now I’d like to feel you beneath me” within hours of meeting under frightening circumstances? Dude! Really?! LOL… Good thing that Ariq has got more than a few positive attributes to offset that one. *wink*
Alas, the mutual attraction and Ariq’s very tempting offer are derailed by sharp ears and a misconstrued conversation. Thus, the UST between Zenobia and Ariq must simmer a bit longer as they leave the relative safety of Krakentown for the unknown in The Kraken King, Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm, scheduled for release on April 22, 2014.
Until the next installment, I’m gonna resume my self-inflicted grumbling and gnashing of teeth. Yeah, colour me masochist. :)
P.S… In anticipation of possible ‘Wha—? You, reading an incomplete serial, Karma?’, I pre-emptively assert a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. And if that doesn’t sway, then I have only this: It’s Meljean Brook; how could I not? ;-)