The Kraken King
Author: Meljean Brook
Publish Date: 2014
Genre: Steam-punk Romance
Series: Iron Seas, book 4
Rating: A –
In The Kraken King (book 4 in the Iron Seas series) pulp adventure writer, Zenobia Fox, has had a target on her back ever since her brother acquired a fortune on one of his treasure hunts. Now anyone looking to make a quick buck knows that kidnapping her will easily get a ransom from her brother. Tired of living in fear and closeting herself away, Zenobia takes the chance to sail with her friend to Australia. But misfortune loves Zenobia as she quickly finds herself caught in the midst of a brewing conflict over a war machine and is suspected of being a spy.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been following Meljean Brook’s “Iron Seas” series all that close. I read the first novel, The Iron Duke, but didn’t have the urge to jump into the rest of the series. Now, however, I definitely want to go back and read the other books because The Kraken King was fantastic. It feels like Brook has a much better grasp on the world and where she wants to go with it than she did in The Iron Duke.
The world centered on here is a much differnt atmosphere than was featured in Iron Duke, which I liked a lot better. I was pretty impressed with the different politics that Brook incorporated as Zenobia and crew traipse across the continent. It gave the impression that this is a country that is divided and barely hanging onto peace time. Adding to this was the turmoil of the war machine and how the burden of it has fallen onto just a handful of average people.
One thing that Brook continues to do right is that she doesn’t include past main characters from the series unless they serve a function to the plot. This is one area that a lot of long running romance series fail in. Often characters will be inserted into the story to show just how bright and shiny their lives are now, which drags the plot down. So, instead of dreading seeing past characters appear in Brook’s novels, I’m excited because I know they’re appearing for a reason. This was the case here as we got an appearance from Archimedes and Yasmeen from Heart of Steel.
All in all, The Kraken King was a lot of fun. Also, I don’t feel like I missed anything by skipping Heart of Steel and Riveted to get to this one. Can’t wait to see what Brook will come out with next.