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April 13, 2014

Steampunk Sundays: Verity Hart vs The Vampyres 1 by Jennifer Harlow + The Kraken King 1 by Meljean Brook

Series: Verity Hart vs The Vampyres 1 | A Hart/McQueen Steampunk Adventure
Format: Mobi
Release Date: April 1, 2014 
Publisher: Self
Source: Author
Genre: Steampunk
KEEP CALM AND STEAMPUNK ON

The whole of Victorian London knows there is something not quite right about the Lady Verity Hart. She may be the daughter of an MP and the sister of famed inventor Lord David Hart, but she is a spinster whose own father threatens to send her to the madhouse every fortnight. Because Society is correct-Verity Hart is no lady. If they suspected how quick with a quip she is, let alone the majority of her brother's ingenious machines were her design, the sale of fainting couches would double.

Verity requires one herself when her beloved brother is kidnapped by vampyres in the dead of night. With the aid of an aggravating, rude American bounty hunter with a secret of his own, Verity takes to land, sea, and even air to rescue the only person who could ever love and truly accept her. Or is he?

Oooh VERITY HART vs THE VAMPYRES, Jennifer Harlow's new series, is so, so, so good! The historical aspect is great, entitled aristocrats and nobles, a society mobilized by money and influence where men dominates and the women are nothing but objects and baby makers, it hits all the markers of a realistic historical fiction IMO. The Steampunk fantasy aspect is just as wonderful, gadgets galore and Verity's circle is the Victorian counterpart of the people in Capitol in Hunger Games complete with crazy hair colors and ridiculous costumes. 

Part 1 is a good introduction and gave us a great snapshot of who Verity Hart is. She's an inventor, a woman beyond her time and considered a spinster at 28yo. She has a despicable set of parents, always concerned about what other people think than their daughter's welfare, fortunately Verity's older brother, David, is a good chap through and through and is Verity's current champion. There is a two-layered conflict, the first one is Verity's image problem, after a broken engagement, her reputation is far from sparkly at this point and being an engineer isn't helping it either. If she has any hopes of getting hitched, she needs to keep on hiding her genius behind her brother's name otherwise she'll be a spinster forever. And that won't do especially in this era. The second layer is the Vampyres! They've been myths until Verity's brother was abducted by a pair and now it's up to her to get David back. If only she can convince her parents that she's not having a psychotic break and prevent them from institutionalization her.

VERITY HART vs THE VAMPYRES 1 has great pace and a promising premise and curious characters, I'm definitely sold! Another incentive of moving forward with the serials is the enigmatic Jamie McQueen. With a last name like McQueen, it's almost a promise that there'll be some serious rockin' & rollin' bound to happen in the nearest future. Now why would I refuse that?!




Series: The Kraken King 1 | Iron Seas 4.1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: InterMix
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk
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

The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster

Even if this is the fourth book in the Iron Seas series, I didn't feel lost jumping into THE KRAKEN KING. After much research, the common denominator of the series is the setting as all the stories happen in this naval steampunk universe Meljean Brooks created. Aside from a few character connections here and there, every Iron Seas book features a different couple with their own story arc so each installment is a fresh story. I may be speaking too soon but so far, I think I can get away with reading THE KRAKEN KING as stand-alone. 

On to the world building.

THE WORLD-BUILDING! We always say that books are awesome vacations, well brace yourselves because MBrook's THE KRAKEN KING will take you to such exotic places you may not want to leave! In this latest Iron Seas novel, we're taken to MBrook's version of Australia and the Pacific made more dangerous by zombies, pirates and Krakens washed ashore a Nipponese (Japanese) island, ruled by a rebel faction led by the infamous Kraken King aka Ariq. 

The heroine, Zenobia Fox, is just as infamous as Ariq, The Kraken King. She's the "author of popular serial adventures and the oft-kidnapped sister to one of the wealthiest men who'd ever flung himself to danger," Archimedes Fox (Heart of Steel, Iron Seas 2), and Zenobia finds it prudent to hide her identity for her own safety. Not only that, obviously Ariq also has a rich history so there's a lot of potential complications that can stem from this the revelation alone is worth looking forward to. I'm still in the process of discovery but so far I can confidently say that THE KRAKEN KING will provide a delicious conflict and I'm anxious to read how MBrooks is going to untangle all the threads.

THE KRAKEN KING 1 was such an adventurous read in so few pages. It already gave me wonderful angles to explore starting from the lush and exotic setting down to the colorful and very diverse characters. The romantic tension between Zenobia and Ariq was quick to materialize but it's not an insta-love connection. Zenobia is going to make Ariq work for the nookie and I'm sure the Kraken King will give our scribbling heroine a lot of material for the book she's currently writing. I say that's great motivation to read part 2, don't you think so?







44 comments:

  1. I think you're the first blogger who introduced mo to the world of steampunk Braine! Thank you! Steampunk is awesome! my first book is the Iron Duke by Meljean Brook and I loved it so I will definitely be adding The Kraken King on my TBR and you loved it so I have high expectations! Woohoo! Great reviews Braine :)

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    1. Thanks babe and I'm so happy to hear that! I need to read the Iron Duke too! Fell in love with the Iron Seas, I need to read more of it.

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  2. I'm gonna have to read the Blud series first, to decide if I like steampunk...but I have to admit these both sound amazing, Braine!!

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    1. Don't limit yourself to one genre. Some steampunks are more romance than PNR and some are reversed. The world building is this genre's greatest asset. It's easy to get lost in the worlds

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  3. I just wish the Kraken was not a serial

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    1. You can binge on them once it's all out. Not sure if they're going to release an omnibus but it looks like they will as per goodreads.

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  4. I used to really enjoy steampunk a lot. I don't know what my deal is with it anymore. The cover for Krakken King is just ridiculously gorgeous. And Verity sounds like an excellent heroine.
    I'm glad you enjoyed both books!

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    1. We get tired of genres, that happens. You're on a contemporary romance kick for now, maybe next year you'll revisit fantasy... the covers are gorgeous right?

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  5. I haven't read either of these authors yet, but I love Steampunk so its just a matter of time. Glad these are good.

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    1. Perfect place to give their books a try!

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  6. I haven't read a good steampunk in awhile and both of these sound great. I like the sound of the heroine in Verity and Krakken King sounds like a good time, and I like that you could jump in on book four without being lost.

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    1. Yup, that's right and the world building for both are fantastic!

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  7. Both sound really good. Too bad the first one is a serial.

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    1. You can wait for all of it to release that way you can binge.

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  8. Now I'm going to have to add this new Jennifer Harlow series to my list. I lover her books and am sure this one will be amazing. Great review.

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    1. This is very different from her other works. I love Verity, she's spirited but not as snarky as her contemporary heroines.

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  9. Definitely going to check out Verity! :) She sounds like my kind of heroine. (Thanks for the recommendation btw)
    Read the Kraken King as well, and since I haven't read the other books in that series I did find myself a bit lost, but still enjoyed the story.

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    1. I was afraid of that but oddly enough I was able to jump right in the story. i know Archimedes was mentioned but only in passing.

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    1. There are super romancey ones, very historical or eben regency like KCallihan. Maybe that wlil be a better fir for you.

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  11. wow 2 reviews. I didn't know that Jennifer Harlow had a new series, but it sounds so good! I so want to discover it now! I have the first Meljean book but it's the same I didn't know she had another series as well. I'm so behind, it's terrible !

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    1. It was love at first chapter for me with Iron Sseas. I love the world she created, it's so fascinating. Harlow's series is Steampunk through and through. I love the premise and the vamps are a bit traditional which I love

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  12. You know me, I am not s steampunk girl, but I think if I was going to enjoy a steampunk it would be Verity Hart vs. The Vampyres. It sounds pretty awesome.

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    1. Give it a go, you might end up liking the genre after reading this.

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  13. Both of these look great. I know you said that you felt fine jumping straight into The Kraken King, but I really want to catch up in the series before I start this. And I will. Soon *crosses fingers*

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    1. I feel you, I didn't do my due diligence. I thought it was a new series, it was only after I was doing the draft that I saw this is already book 4.

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  14. Got to check out that vampire read sound really good.

    Joelle http://angelswithattitudebookreviews-joelle.blogspot.com

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    1. I've been tired of vamps but since it's Jennifer Harlow, I know I won't be disappointed.

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  15. Hooray...I love steampunk and all the details and gadgets are making me drool. This series is totally new to me so of course I am excited. I added both to my wish list.

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  16. It's been a little while since I read an enjoyable steampunk, but this sounds like it would be a good one. Great reviews.

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    1. These are great ones even it's in serial format.

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  17. I love the Iron Sea series and I can't wait to read The Kraken King. I just wish it was a full length book instad of couple of novellas.
    I haven't heart about Verity Hart Vs The Vampires, but it sounds just the way I like them. I'm adding it to my TBR. :)

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    1. Are your Iron Seas books via kindle? I'll check with you later on and see if it's loanable.

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  18. I don't read a lot of steampunk but I have noticed that a lot of steampunk books have really unique covers. So that's cool :)

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    1. Now that you've mentioned it, the covers for steampunk are indeed unique and very cool.

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  19. I love Jennifer Harlow's books but hadn't heard about this one, vampires and steampunk I'm so there! I'll be adding both of these to my TBR. I love Steampunk and am always looking for new recommendations in this genre.

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    1. You better hook up with JHarlow then I'm sure she'd love to be featured in your blog.

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  20. Thank you for sharing, I love steampunk but can never seem to find enough books in this genre :') I'm clearly looking in all the wrong places.

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  21. *adds more to her TBR* Those sound great.

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    1. They are, good to see these two made it to your TBR

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  22. I have been eager for a good steampunk lately. and although I have never read the Iron Seas I want to give this one a shot.

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  23. Verity Hart sounds delightful, Braine! Feast your steampunk hungry soul :))) I have other Harlow books on my wishlist but I didn't know she wrote steampunk. Will be adding this to my wishlist. And of course the whole Kraken King serial is gorgeous, read the whole lot! :)

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