The Kraken King (Parts 1-3) by Meljean Brook
Serial – 8 Installments
Reviewed by Tori
Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series is a rip roaring steampunk adventure filled with dastardly pirates, steamy romance, and dangerous adversaries. In her latest work, The Kraken King, Brook’s takes a different approach by releasing the book in serial form (eight installments total).This format works well as the story revolves around Zenobia Fox, a writer who enthralls the world with her serials bout her smuggling brother, Archimedes Fox, adventures. Each part is titled and presented in the exact same way as Zenobia herself pens her stories. Only this time, she’s the heroine.
Part One:The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster
Zenobia Fox aka Gertrude Inkslinger decides she needs some adventure and decides to travel to the Red City with her best friend, Helene, a diplomat’s wife who is on her way to see her husband. Their airship is attacked by marauders and their party narrowly escapes capture and/or death with the help of a mysterious man known as The Kraken King.
Part one opens with a light background commentary as to what Zenobia has been up to since her last kidnapping. Humor and high octane action run in tandem together as Zenobia finds herself in the presence of the Kraken King. Romance flairs but convention and misunderstandings sets their romance on the back burner as Zenobia pushes to get Helene to the Red City and Ariq investigates the sky pirates.
Part Two:The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm
Zenobia, Ariq and their party are traveling across the desert to gather information on the sky pirates that attacked Zenobia’s airship and to find another airship to take Helene and Zenobia to their destination. Zenobia’s secretive nature has Ariq sticking close to her but his attraction and admiration leaves him confused and unsure how to proceed. A violent attack on one of Zenobia’s friends leaves her torn.
More action and mayhem have Ariq and Zenobia exchanging smoldering glances and sharp barbs as they are forced to travel together. Brook’s world building continues to expand, bringing into sharp clarity what exists beyond the small portion we have been introduced to in the previous novels. Dynamic characters and engaging dialogue keeps this serial from dragging.
Part Three: The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den
Zenobia, Ariq, and their party have entered into the Smuggler’s Den. Ariq must discover who is targeting Krakentown but reading Zenobia’s letters shows him she may very well be part of the problem. Ariq’s suspecions causes him to cool his attraction towards Zenobia. Confused and hurt by Ariq’s about face, Zenobia makes plans to continue to the Red City without him. When Zenobia is almost kidnapped out from under Ariq’s nose, Ariq has had enough and demands answers Zenobia isn’t prepared to give.
Brook continues to expand Ariq and Zenobia’s characters while strengthening the storyline. Detailed descriptions of the Smuggler’s Den and the people who rule each den offers us more clues towards discovering the villain(s) set on destroying Krakentown. Internal dialogue from our protagonists continue to push the romance along at a slow but steady pace.
I have enjoyed this serial to date as it offers an energetic soap opera style reveal that gives readers the drama, action, and plenty of wit without unnecessary fillers. However, if you aren’t a patient reader, you may choose to wait for the whole book which will release in its entirety August 2014.
EDIT: 4/29/2014. Meljean Brooks has informed me that the release date of August for the book has been changed and the release date is now TBA.
OVERALL RATING: B