Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Early Review: The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas 1)
-          Meljean Brook
Publisher: UK – Berkley (Released in UK on 12th April 2012)
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.
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.
Mina is a police inspector in London nine years after the Horde were beaten – conceived during a frenzy, she has to deal with the prejudice of her Horde heritage every day. However, she doesn’t let this stop her from doing her job and doing it well – even if that means clashing with England’s most famous pirate turned saviour, the Iron Duke himself. Together they find themselves caught up in a deeper conspiracy and mystery than they could have thought possible...
This book is like rocky road ice cream – lots of yummy ingredients that you usually enjoy separately, mixed together to create something entirely different and yet delicious and more-ish. You want an independently strong female lead, you got it. You want a handsome alpha male, you got it. You want an intriguing mystery, you got it. Nano-agents? Check. Adventure? Check. Romance? Check. Zombies? Check. Sea battles? Check. Sea Monsters? Check. And of course no steampunk novel would be complete without an airship or two... Somehow, this book has become so much more than the sum of it parts to create something truly unique.
I will confess I struggled a little at the beginning as the world and history was so different from anything I could recognise – a lot of background is thrown at you in a short space of time – the Horde, the buggers, the blounders, but it is all needed in order to truly understand the detailed and comprehensive world that Meljean Brook has created.  After the first fifty pages or so, you are up to date and then watch out! The pace is frantic, but detailed. The relationships are complex and more than just typical romantic stereotypes. While reading, it feels like you’ve had the emotion and excitement of a full season of your favourite show. My heart was racing so many times during The Iron Duke. Despite the steampunk trappings this could easily belong to any other genre as well – romance (there are some truly smexy scenes here!), horror (the ratcatchers really terrified me!), conspiracy, pirating – I could go on, but instead I will highly, highly recommend this book!
Recommended for fans of Nalini Singh and Nicole Peeler. 9.5 out of 10.     


  1. I admit there was too much romance in this one and the ending...well, let me say I am not big fan of the ending. I enjoyed the steampunk aspect and the Horda but then I became a bit bored ;D. I know, I know, I don't like Nalini Singh so I shouldn't have read this one but reading so many raving reviews like yours I got curious...

  2. wow 9.5, it's quite amazing! lol I so need to read it now, I've only read some great review, I'm ashamed I haven't try it yet now lol. Great review!

  3. Woo hoo it's like The Iron Duke appreciation week! You are so right the book is like a full season of your favourite show and well worth a 9.5 rating:)

  4. Yay, I am glad that you liked it too :D
    Wasn't it so cool!? Zombies, a hunky captain and a cool past

  5. You threw me with the early review. I didn't know it wasn't out until now in the UK. I still have to read this one. Sounds like I'm really going to enjoy it too!

    Oh and I think I like this cover better than the US one. :)

  6. Oh, I still have to start this series yet! And 9.5! Wow. I soooo need to make it to it soon then. ;D THank you!