Adult Book Review: The Kraken King by Melijean Brook

Title: The Kraken King
Series: The Iron Seas
Author: Maljean Brook
WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads
Age Group: ADULT
Genre Type: Steampunk
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Pages: 576 pages
Source: Bought
Publisher: Berkley

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 first began as a writing experiment, a serial created by the talented Meljean Brook as part of her Iron Seas series. The results is the sensational novel here for the first time in its complete entirety, a Steampunk Romance lover's dream come true.

Originally created as an eight-part serial, the story is completely action-packed, each scene fills the pages with no wasted space, no dull moments and the plot moves fast with no shortage of Steampunk elements. The story opens up with Zenobia Fox trying to escape being kidnapped. Sister to the infamous Archimedes, she writes stories of daring action and adventure, but has little experience herself. When an opportunity arises to join her childhood friend on her way to Australia, she seizes the chance to research her next Lady Lynx novel and hopes for a little adventure for herself along the way. What she could never have expected was the adventure she was about to embark on was greater than any fiction she dared dream of. From the moment her airship is attacked by marauders, and she is rescued by Ariq, AKA the Kraken King, the adventure and danger begins, along with the very unexpected attraction to this former smuggler and thief.

I jumped at the chance to finally pick back-up this series, excited to read The Kraken King as a complete whole. The story did not disappoint in any way. The moment Zenobia jumps from her attacked airship and crosses path with the Kraken King, I was hooked. From the threat of giant abominable worms, to deadly mercenaries, from Krakentown to a den of smugglers and further to the mysterious Red City, Ariq and Zenobia travel together as danger threatens not only their lives, but the very empire. The world building is so well-done, each setting fascinating and the scenery keeps changing as the adventure unfolds. Living cities of coral and strange steampunk elements of living creatures combined with gadgets and technology abound, and through all this are two very smart, strong-willed characters to fall in love with.

A twist of circumstances, misunderstandings and secret identities result in a slow-build, emotional journey of romantic tension as this couple grows ever closer. The romance between the Kraken King and Zenobia was every-bit as wonderfully done as the other elements of the story, with plenty of dimensional characterization. I adored watching as this couple struggled through set-backs and danger, learning to trust in each other. Both growing emotionally and intimately together even as the author thrusts them into the heart of danger more than once.

The Kraken King is a perfect balance of Steampunk and Romance. I will not soon forget this adventure into the exciting world Meljean Brook's series the Iron Seas with an amazing and unique world and an unforgettable couple to love.

My Rating: 5 stars. I loved it!