Review: The Kraken King Parts I and II by Meljean Brook


The Kraken King by Meljean Brook is an 8 part serial steampunk romance. This is my review of the first two parts.

Title: The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster
Author: Meljean Brook
Date of publication: 15 April 2014
Genre/themes: Romance, Steampunk, Adventure

Author's links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Purchase Links: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes

My rating: 4 stars


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…

*** *** ***

Title: The Kraken King Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm
Author: Meljean Brook 
Date of publication: 22 April 2014 
Genre/themes: Romance, Steampunk, Adventure 

Author's links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads 
Purchase links: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes

My rating: 4 stars


As they continue their expedition across Australia, Ariq is determined to stay close to Zenobia and figure out what kind of game she’s playing—even as his admiration for the enigmatic woman starts to override his suspicion.

For Zenobia, revealing her identity to a man who once made his living outside of the law is out of the question—even though Ariq’s dashing looks and blunt manner are distractingly appealing.

But before anyone’s secrets or desires can be exposed, an unexpected attack threatens to destroy them all…


This my first steampunk novel and I decided to try it as part of my personal challenge to read new genres/styles. As an experiment I have to say it is very successful so far. 

I'm really enjoying both the story and the writing style. Ms Brook got me deeply involved in the story of Ariq and Zenobia and the world they live in. Her narrative is powerful without being overly descriptive and it presents both the world and the characters' emotions convincingly. Both Ariq and Zenobia have distinctive voices which engage the reader deeply in their story.

Part I introduces us to the hero and heroine and sets the background to the overall story. It also doesn't lack action and Ariq and Zenobia's meeting takes places under rather extreme circumstances. It took me some time to make sense this new and rather unusual world with its mechanical creatures and machines. Still, I'd say that all this is a very entertaining flight of the imagination.

Part II continues to build on everything in book 1 - the characters, the world, the action, the sexual attraction and the secrets.

I liked all the action and adventure in this serial so far and highly appreciate the curious mixture of futuristic elements such nanotechnology and Victorian atmosphere and morality Ms Brook creates.

Both Ariq and Zenobia are very interesting, complex characters. He is honest and direct to the point of being blunt. He is considered barbarian, yet he is led in all his actions by a strong moral code. In a world of spies, mercenaries and marauders, he stands out with his honesty.

Zenobia is a great adventure heroine. She is smart, with a dry sense of humour, and she is not easily intimidated.

There is a strong chemistry between Ariq and Zenobia, though they both guard tightly their secrets. Part I and II build up the sexual tension between them in the most exquisite way and I'm looking forward to the next installment  for them to finally succumb to their passion.

In general, I'm not a fan of the serial form since I'm too impatient to wait for the next part. Still, I'm enjoying this serial so far with the slow build-up of the relationship between Ariq and Zenobia set against an action-packed plot full of intrigue and suspense.

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