Welcome to my nine-part review special of The Kraken King by Meljean Brook. The book is being released as an eight-part serialized novel. Each Friday (or Saturday) after the release of a part of the novel, I will share my review. In addition, on June 9, 2014, after the entire book is released, I will share a special review and host a giveaway for the awesome Kraken King Poster shown above!
Today I review Part V. Because each part was written as a specific piece within a larger framework, each piece is rated based on the quality of the work with respect to where and when it falls within the larger story, as well as my enjoyment of the story within the context of a larger tale. The rating is not based as if this part is solely a stand alone book.
Note: Although these are separate and distinct adventures, the individual parts are NOT stand alone stories. The series is intended to be read in whole from Part I to Part VIII, and leaving out earlier parts is akin to skipping chapters in a book. NOTE: This review contains spoilers from the earlier parts of the book!
The Kraken King Part V:
The Kraken King and the Iron Heart
Author: Meljean Brook
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
For frame of reference, this part starts with Chapter 16 of The Kraken King.
I just have to start by saying… OMG… Zenobia’s letter is freakin’ hilarious. Each section opens with one of her letters, each being spectacular, but this one is the best yet.
This week’s installment opens with Ariq and Zenobia, captured and separated. Ariq is on a ship, supposedly leading Admiral Tatsukawa, his brother’s father, to a massive war machine. Meanwhile, Zenobia is on a separate ship with General Ghazan Bator, heading in a different direction. Tatsukawa and Bator think that by holding Zenobia captive, Ariq will disclose the location of the weapon, but as we all know, Ariq would never put so many innocent people in danger. I feel I need to put a “spoiler alert” on this review because I do reveal whether or not each escapes and if they reunite. So, if you do not want to know that information, do not read further!
The Kraken King and the Iron Heart shares with readers an in-depth look at both Ariq and Zenobia, and the reader is treated to some wonderful emotion-filled prose. First, the story centers on Ariq. The opening chapter gives careful detail and vivid descriptions of Ariq’s escape and all that he feels during those moments. We learn that Ariq is incredibly loyal and how serious he takes his vows, especially to Zenobia. I truly fell in love with Ariq at this moment. In addition, I appreciate how his impeccable honor is imbedded into his every thought and action.
Meanwhile, Zenobia takes the reader on some highs and ultimate lows as she experiences capture by Bator and life on his vessel. She has amazing fortitude, and I am impressed with how she keeps her wit about her when Bator will do anything to break her spirit. I love when she jokes that she didn’t get paid for Nipponese translation of her book. However, Bator does something unbelievably cruel, and my heart ached for Zenobia. This scene was well-written and emotionally difficult for me as I experienced Zenobia’s pain.
Yet Zenobia hardens her resolve and the reader is treated to an incredibly exciting, punctuated with humor, escape and the reunion of Zenobia and Ariq. Once the pair are alone and on their way back to the Red City, the story takes the perfect time to allow a true emotional bond to develop between the couple. The story does a great job of slowing down the pace at just the right time, yet building anticipation for what is to come next.
When reading any book, I tend to highlight my favorite passages, but rarely do I add quotes to my review. However, when Ariq thought these words, I just swooned so hard, and I was compelled to share my favorite quote with you:
“He hadn’t known that simply holding her in his arms would feel like a gift.”
Overall, The Kraken King and the Iron Heart is my favorite part of the book to date. The story slowed down after its initial burst of action, giving the couple some quality alone time and building a beautiful romance. I adore that Ariq put his heart and intentions out there, and the couple share some very hot personal moments. However, as the personal intensity shifted, it makes way for a powerful ending that is in stark contrast to the slower tempo held for the bulk of the tale. I cannot wait to get my hands on Part VI.
With their lives and the fate of an empire at stake, Ariq is forced to leave Zenobia behind. Held captive by their enemies, Zenobia can only pray that Ariq keeps his promise to come for her—until a terrible loss prods her to action.
Ariq has no intention of handing over the Skybreaker to the two men responsible for the marauders’ attacks against Krakentown—but without a ransom to give them, Ariq must risk everything to rescue Zenobia and stop the swarming forces bent on destruction…
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Intermix (Penguin)
Series: Iron Seas #4.5
Genre: Steampunk Romance, Serialized Novel
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
The Kraken King Part V (Iron Seas #4.5)
Reviews in the Series:
“The Blushing Bounder” by Meljean Brook (Wild & Steamy) (Iron Seas #0.4)
“Here There Be Monsters” by Meljean Brook (Burning Up) (Iron Seas #0.5)
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1)
“Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City” by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1.5)
Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #2)
“Tethered” by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #2.5)
Riveted by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #3)
“Wrecked” by Meljean Brook (Fire & Frost) (Iron Seas #3.4)
“Salvage” by Meljean Brook (Enthralled) (Iron Seas #3.5)
The Kraken King Part I by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.1)
The Kraken King Part II by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.2)
The Kraken King Part III by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.3)
The Kraken King Part IV by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.4)