Friday, February 24, 2012

Review - Heart of Steel (The Iron Seas, Book 2) by Meljean Brooke (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy/SciFi
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: November 1, 2011
ISBN: 978-0425243305
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in The Iron Seas series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Iron Seas series by Brooke. This book is not a continuation of the characters in the first storybut instead follows around the Yasmeen, the captain of the pirate airship the Lady Cosair, and Archimedes Fox, the famous treasure hunter. While I didn't find the story as compelling as the first book, it was still a good story. There wasn't as much world building, there was more focus on intrigue and Yasmeen and Archimedes' relationship instead.

Yasmeen had sent Archimedes plunging to his death, or so she thought. She is on her way to convery her condolences to Archimedes' sister and sell a valuable daVinci print when Archmedes shows up again. Someone attacks Yasmeen's airship leaving her destitute. Now Yasmeen and Archimedes are forced to plunge deep into Horde occupied Morocco to right past wrongs. Will they be able to concentrate on their goal and resist the pull to each other?

I love the steampunk feel to this novel and the politically/technologically complicated world that it is set in. I missed that this book didn't expand of the world but rather depended on the world set up in The Iron Duke (the first book) to hold the story up. We do get to visit more of the Horde occupied areas when the characters travel to Morocco. Most of the story though concentrates on Archimedes' debt and his efforts to repay it. Yasmeen gets tangeled up in the story when she tries to take off with a valuable daVinci print that Archimedes had acquired. The story also spends a lot of time with Yasmeen and Archimedes trying to learn how to work together while falling for each other and trying not to piss each other off.

The two main characters (Yasmeen and Archimedes) are very well done. Both are charasmatic and engaging characters. They both have interesting and complex backgrounds. I didn't think their relationship was as steamy as the one portrayed between the characters in the Iron Duke, but it was more a relationship of give and take and mutual I did enjoy that. In some respects their relationship was more realistic than most of the relationships you see in typical romances.

I love this world and enjoyed the characters. I just didn't find the story quite as compelling and the romance between Yasmeen and Archimedes quite as engaging as the story and characters in the Iron Duke. It was still a fun and easy read and I enjoyed it.

Overall a solid addition to this series. Love the world these stories are set in; it is a complicated political world with heavy steampunk elements to it. Yasmeen and Archimedes are interesting and charasmatic characters that were fun to read about. There wasn't as much world building in this book as in the first and I missed that. I also didn't find the romance between Yasmeen and Archimedes to be as compelling as the romance in the first book; but I did like that their relationship was built on mutual respect of each other. If you like romance with some adventure and an interesting steampunk setting this is the book for you. Recommended to steampunk fans and fans of paranormal romance.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge
- Steampunk Reading Challenge

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