Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Edition: Trade Paperback
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
I have never read an Steampunk book and truth be told, I didn't have any plans to start, but then I read the prequel novella of this book, Here There Be Monsters. I inmediatly fell in love with the world, so The Iron Duke became one of my most wanted books.
The most impresive thing for me about The Iron Duke is the worldbuilding. We have nanoagents that now are injected into a body for healing purposes but before were used to control and suppress the emotions of the british citizens by the Horde, the Horde who used to control England, the Frenzy that makes people procreate withour their knowledge or consent, krakens that are a kind of weapon created by the Horde, zombies and more. As a result of that control, people became slaves and when they were freed by the Iron Duke much of their society changed, like not wanting to get married.
This is not an easy and quick read, but the worldbuilding doesn't overwhelm you, it just makes you love the book so much more.
Mira is a very strong and complicated character. She has been dealing with insults and assaults all her life for the way she looks. She's close to her family and values a lot her job as an Inspector. After all the things she has seen she still has compassion and cares about what happens to people.
Then we have Rhys, the Iron Duke, the one who saved them all. He's arrogant and cold. Thinks he can get whatever he wants. Doesn't much care about the rules and has an incredible amount of power. He is also the reason I didn't give this book a perfect rating. While I like an alpha hero, there were times where he went too far. Also, I wish the relationship between both of them had had a little more romance and that they had at least learn how to communicate with each other, which they didn't.
All in all, this book has the perfect blend between adventure, worlbuilding. action and romance. Even if you've never read any Steampunk, you should give this one a try. It's definitely worth it.
“Have you received any threats?” That question would be of the utmost importance to Superintendent Hale, and everyone else Mina answered to. The Iron Duke must be kept safe.
“Yes.” A brief smile accompanied his answer.
Of course he had. “Threats from anyone who would dare act on them?”
And if someone had, Mina suspected that she’d never have been called. A law unto himself, he’d have concealed the evidence.
0.5. Here There be Monsters - Review
2. Heart of Steel (Nov, 2011)
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.