Review – The Iron Duke
by MelJean Brook
I really enjoyed this book. I absolutely loved the world-building. Sure, there are a few things about the world I could pick apart that don’t stand up to close scrutiny, but they ultimately didn’t matter too much to me. I am so impressed, especially if you like Steampunk and Paranormal Romance. This is my third Steampunk book and I enjoy the clockwork, steam and victorian sensibilities. It mixes the PR/UF up a bit for some fun settings and inventions.
It starts in England, just after the Horde invasion. The Iron Duke had destroyed the Horde’s control tower (they injected the English citizen’s with nanoagents called bugs to control them). So the duke has gone from a pirate to a Duke for saving everyone from Horde control. Enter Mina, she is a police inspector and genetically half Horde. It doesn’t make her popular. When a body is dumped on the Iron Duke’s front steps, she is called in to figure out 1) who the man is and then 2) why. It becomes an adventure story as she and the duke travel via dirigible, ship and steam powered coach all over the world. They also fall for each other, fighting it the whole time.
So, there really are a lot of romance elements, lots of smexing and stuff but Brook really creates a wild world to work from. There are zombies (injected bugs gone bad), kraken, huge sharks, fire bombs and people who were never injected with bugs hating on the ones that were. It really is freaking awesome.
Mina and the duke (Rhys) have issues. There is almost a rape type event (does that seem standard in some of the UF/PR lately?!), lots of clockwork mechanisms, a missing brother and swashbuckling. I really, really enjoyed the whole thing. I even enjoyed the back and forth between our main characters fighting each other before they settle into love.
I will say that I think I need to mix up what I am reading lately. I am starting to see way too many trends and getting a little jaded about it…so while yes, this is PR, and it contains those types of trends, the rape thing, the fight each other, the “I’m not good enough” and “I will bring him and my own family down if we stay together” and the kick-ass heroine used to taking care of herself and having a hard time letting someone else help…lol – it is still amazing. I loved this world and thought the mains and side characters were fantastic and I will be reading the next book! I give it 4 stars.