Thursday, October 14

Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

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.

A new edition to the "Steam Punk" genre, the Iron Duke is the first book in Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series. Up until a few weeks ago, if you told me I would be knee-deep and utterly enthralled in a "Steam Punk" book I probably would have laughed out loud and declared on the spot where my reading loyalties lie. I'm a Vampires, shape-shifters, demons, etc. kinda gal. I'll even stretch for a fallen angel here and there, although he better be bad arse or forget it!! So, when news hit the social networking realm surrounding the instant popularity of this book, I was all about the "Thanks, but no thanks!" Yeah, that lasted about one day! After about fifty " I love it, I love it, I love it" reviews on book blogs, GoodReads, Amazon, and twitter I finally caved.. And boy am I glad I did!! 

This book is arrrghsome! The so called "steam Punk" world Brook created is both amazing and unbelievably insane. Put Edward Scissor Hands and Pirates of the Caribbean in a blender along with a shot of Orwell's 1984 and you get The Iron Duke.

 Two hundred years ago England was taken over by the horde. Although now free, thanks to the Iron Duke, the people of Europe have yet to recover. Because of the Horde, people are infected with nanoagents, bugs that when activated can manipulate their feelings and bodily control. This is where Detective Inspector Mina Wentorth comes in. Mina was conceived during a horde frenzy, where her mother was raped. Because of this, Mina is rejected by society, called names, and spit on.  The one thing Mina does have, however, is her family who love and support her dearly.

Rhys Trahaearn, aka the Iron Duke is a wealthy merchant. He is big, strong, handsome and revered by all for his part in destroying the Horde. To him though, the reverence is unwanted. An ex-pirate, Rhys wants nothing to do with social matters, Parliament, or society.

Mina finds great purpose in her job as an inspector, and when she is called to investigate a dead body at the Duke's house, she takes the job very seriously. Rhys, on the other hand, wants to handle the investigation himself. Although, one look at Mina and Rhys decides he just might be able to work with her after all. I think I'll stop here before I tell you every detail and spoil all the fun!!

To sum it all up -This book blew me away!! Brook has an imagination, the likes of which I can only compare to J.K. Rowling. Seriously, she had zombies, mechanical sharks, giant killer rats, tinker kids, bedroom toys that made me blush, and so much more.  Also, Brook's side characters are down-right, drop on the floor hilarious. One in particular, Scarsdale ,whom I would love to see featured in his own story!!! [Hint.Hint.] The Iron Duke won me over from the very beginning. Rhys is strong, confident, and cocky, but he's also very sensitive and tender especially towards Mina.  Their relationship starts off slow at first, but once it takes off, whew.., hold on and brace for a long, hot ride!! Case in point... 

When he returned and lay down, Mina rolled against his side, feeling slightly giddy--almost drunk with triumph, with pleasure, with contentment. "You didn't fight me," he said, stroking his hand over her hair. "I didn't need to." Though she didn't know why. Perhaps trust. Perhaps more. But the thought of that "more" was to frightening to dwell on now. Heartache lay in that direction. "You inspired me," she said instead. "You didn't have to fight when you destroyed the Horde. So I decided to make your tower explode."

 Okay, I think you get the point! Now, what are you waiting for??? Go out and get this book ASAP!:)

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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  1. I saw something like Johnny Depp and Iron Duke on the same line and followed you to your blog.
    Rhys is completely fuckhawt. I have been recommending it to everyone. lols.
    I didn't read the short story before so I had some difficulties at first but then in fifth chapter I had to read the short story. It's like ten chapters nothing serious on the Iron Duke but says a lot about the 'Horde' world.
    Great review BTW.

  2. Great review, I SOOOOO want to read this book and the, it's a prequel right?, in the Burning Up anthology.

    Edward Scissor Hands and Pirates of the Caribbean?
    You've got me hook, line and sinker!

  3. Crystal,

    This book is made of awesomeness. The Iron Duke is the first book in the Iron Seas series. There is a Prequel/Novella titled, "Here There Be Monsters". The novella can be found in the book, Burning Up, a four-story anthology featuring Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, and Virginia Knight. If your interested, I suggest checking out Brook's website. She provides a ton of info on the series as well as the first chapter of Here There Be Monsters. http://meljeanbrook.com/books/the-iron-seas/burning-up#excerpt

  4. Hey Kristin!

    Your review has me intrigued now. I'm in the same line of thought you were before reading this book. Steam Punk genre? No thanks! But you have me reconsidering! The mental image I got when I read your line about blending Edward Scissor Hands, Pirates of the Caribbean and 1984 together was very appealing! Hmm... looks like another one for my TBR pile. Like I needed THAT! ;) Great review, thanks!

  5. Hey Carmel,

    I know steam punk just sounds weird, right?? Well it's not, this book totally rocked!! It's a must read!!



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