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Review: 65. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook...

May 20, 2011
I have to admit I was slightly hesitant to pick up The Iron Duke even though I'd heard it was good. But I don't normally associate steampunk with half-naked men like this has one on the cover... I'm glad I finally read it though, it's fabulous!

the iron duke
Title: The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas)
Author: Meljean Brook
ISBN-13: 9780425236673
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Waukesha Public Library

drey's thoughts:
I must be on a roll with my reading, or maybe I'm just plumb lucky! But I'm not complaining, oh no... *grin*

The Iron Duke of the title, Rhys Trahearn is a hero--the hero actually, who freed England from the Horde. I never quite got what the Horde were or where they came from, only that they controlled the population by implanting nanoagents that they could then control with frequencies emitted by short-range towers. All emotions are controlled by the Horde... I guess you're effectively an android then, or something like it.

The world is completely interesting--there are bounders (those who've returned to England from the New World, and aren't infected), buggers, bugs, zombies, airships, and clockwork devices, all populating this Victorian England setting. I am amazed at how Meljean Brook makes everything work together, and so well at that.

Mina Wentworth was born during the Horde occupation, and while she's the daughter of a Peer, she's still frowned upon and spat on, all because of the Horde blood in her. She's a detective, which puts food on the table, and her work puts her and the Iron Duke together when a body's found on his lawn. Trying to identify the victim eventually takes them to the Admiralty, where their source is murdered. Next thing you know, Mina and Rhys are chasing down rumors of a doomsday weapon across the Channel, and racing against time to take it down before it reaches England's shores.

I like Mina and Rhys. She's stubborn, opinionated and sarcastic. Having dealt with a lifetime of hatred, she's got a pretty thick skin. And she cannot believe that Rhys would--no, could--want her. She doesn't let the crap get to her, and she doesn't let anyone off the hook, whether they're peasant or titled. Scum is scum, after all.

The Iron Duke is a captivating story that just works. The romance & mystery, the technology & history--they all play a part without one element overshadowing another. And all the parts make up a whole that you'll need to check out.

drey's rating: Excellent!


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