Release Date: April 1, 2014
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?!
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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?