Review: The Kraken King Part II by Meljean Brook

Posted April 26, 2014 by Jen in Rating A, Reviews, Romance, Steampunk Fiction Tags: , , , , ,

The Kraken King Serialized Novel Reviews

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 Saturday (or Friday) 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 share Part II. 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.

The Kraken King Part II:
The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm
Author: Meljean Brook

Jen Twimom
Rating: A

What I’m Talking About:

For frame of reference, this part starts with Chapter 4 of The Kraken King. Once again, we are treated to a letter from Zenobia to her brother, which always makes me smile. (Side note: I would love a “story” of the letters going back and forth between Zenobia and Archimedes.)

Part II picks up with Zenobia determined to get her secretly pregnant friend Helene to the Red City, and Ariq attempting to discover who is behind the marauder attacks on airships near his coast. The focus of this part is getting the group out of Krakentown and on their way to the Red City. Ariq and Zenobia strike a deal that will allow Zenobia and Helene to find a way to their destination while Ariq can search for more clues.

I LOVE this story so far. The short parts are packed full of amazing detail and vibrant action, without becoming overwhelming. Part II opens with Ariq studying the dead marauders’ bodies. His thought process in attempts to identify them is engaging. I also admire is sense of practicality when it comes to Zenobia. He wants her but knows she’s made up her mind to shut him out. He also recognizes that while he’d like to pursue her, his priorities are discovering who the marauders work for before the Nipponese empress decides to wipe out the settlements.

We learn much about Ariq’s past to include a man named Ghazan Bator, who did not help Ariq and Taka’s mother once her loyalties exposed. There is bad blood between the men, but Ariq may need Bator’s help saving Krakentown. Learning some history of the rebellion and Ariq’s personal journey gives the reader insight as to why he is so suspicious about Zenobia and her urgent need to get to the Red City. His suspicions, coupled with Zenobia’s secrecy, make for some entertaining misconceptions and misunderstandings. Normally, I’m not one for purposeful confusion, but Ms. Brook creates meaningful misdirection that enhances the overall story and puts a smile on my face.

As the group makes its way to the smuggler’s dens to secure transportation for Zenobia and Helene, we learn of another fantastical creature, not yet seen in The Iron Seas series: boilerworms. Reminding me of the sand worms from Dune, giant boilerworms burrow underground and surface to devour what is in its path. The entire concluding scene when a boilerworm attacks is completely gripping. I was so engrossed with the action and on the edge of my seat – literally. And it is coupled with amazing emotional intensity as one of their own becomes trapped in the creature’s jaws. It was so well done.

The Kraken King Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Wormis so utterly exciting and fulfilling, gaining my interest quickly and keeping me hooked. I like this part more than the first, and it fits since a large chunk of the world-building was already established. Although this part ends with an unfinished story, it is not a cliff-hanger per se, and one can enjoy the individual tale this part tells – and I did immensely.

My Rating:  A, Loved it


About the Book:

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…

Release Date: April 22, 2014
Intermix (Penguin)
Iron Seas #4.2
ASIN: #B00HZ1E724
Steampunk Romance, Serialized Novel
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Purchase Info:
The Kraken King Part II (Iron Seas #4.2)

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)