AH's Reviews > The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
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May 23, 12

bookshelves: first-in-series, historical, zzxread-jan-2011, romance, steampunk, zombies, favorites, won, own, signed-copy
Read from January 06 to 09, 2011

Hordes! Buggers! Bounders! Frenzy, oh my!

What a world. It took a while for me to understand this extremely imaginative world, but I enjoyed every moment of this book.

The Iron Duke portrays an alternative history in a very different Europe. The Horde controls people through nanotechnology. People, especially those living in polluted London, are infected with these agents because they have healing properties. When certain radio frequencies are transmitted, the infected people, known as the Buggers go into a Frenzy.

This is a world full of imaginative contraptions and genetically/mechanically altered creatures and zombies, too! There are airships, mechanical carts, mechanical page turners, even mechanical sex toys. Mechanically altered people exist as well, reminiscent of Star Trek’s Borg.

Our story begins when a man is dropped from an airship on to The Iron Duke’s house. Inspector Mina Wentworth is dispatched to investigate the crime. The Iron Duke, also known as Rhys Traheaern, is immediately attracted to Mina. Rhys arranges to use his former pirate contacts in order to help Mina solve the crime.

Rhys uses this opportunity to get closer to Mina, the woman he wants to shag. The romance aspect is not spectacular, but there are some hot and heavy moments.

I really enjoyed the author’s sense of humor. There were some really funny lines and some very clever pillow talk.

Did I mention that there are sea monsters in this book? “Release the Kraken!” A most memorable scene with a very large, mechanically enhanced sea monster kept me at the edge of my seat.

I loved the secondary characters, especially Yasmeen, The Lady Corsair. Airship pilot, mercenary, I hope that there are more stories planned for her – just her acrobatics alone were spectacular.

So there you have it – a book with zombies, sea monsters, Borg-like people, all sorts of mechanical gadgets. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Update May 23, 2012 - The Iron Duke is now on the Badass Book Reviews' Best Badass Zombie Books List. Check it out!
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Reading Progress

01/06/2011 page 27
7.0% "Wow. This is good. What an interesting world." 7 comments
01/07/2011 page 66
17.0% "Her parents exchanged an odd glance. Her mother's lips curved. "Yes I imagine that he possesses a rather large cannon," she said spearing her sausage with a fork. Her father's cough sounded like a laugh." 1 comment
01/07/2011 page 100
26.0% ""...the tiny gold hoops through the upper curves of his ears glinted through his dark hair. Such a peculiar place for jewelery. But she supposed there were many odd places that a person could pierce their body, if they wished to. The Iron Duke probably had. Primitive scoundrel." 4 comments
01/08/2011 page 95
25.0% ""They hunger," she whispered hoarsely. "They eat the flesh from your bones and drink your marrow. The soulless zombies hunt even the Horde, and you won't see another anywhere in England or the New World...if you're lucky." - Hmm is this a nod to Soulless?" 3 comments
01/08/2011 page 127
34.0% "Aghast, Yasmeen gaped at her before looking at the duke. "It's worse than I thought. Not just the Horde, not just the police - you're keeping company with someone who has principles."" 2 comments
01/08/2011 page 214
57.0% ""Of course I wear armor. I am sitting with a pirate, a mercenary, an adventurer, and a bounder. If a shot is not fired tonight, I daresay that your reputations are nothing but lies. "" 1 comment
01/09/2011 page 291
77.0% ""You didn't have to fight when you destroyed the Horde. So I decided to make your tower explode." Pillowtalk...he he..." 1 comment
01/09/2011 page 301
80.0% "Release the kraken!(I've been dying to say this). "The shadow became a shape, a bulbous head and thick tentacles, a monstrous iron-plated cephalopod. The two arms trailing behind were longer than the Terror." 19 comments
01/09/2011 page 378
100.0% "Wow! This was really good."
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Comments (showing 1-42 of 42) (42 new)

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 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* It's so funny that you're reading this now, AH. I was just looking at reviews for it. ^_^


message 2: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I saw that you were looking at reviews for it and I was reminded that I wanted to read it. The other book I am reading is a little slow, I needed a change of pace. Everyone seems to like this one, so I am hoping for another 5 star read.


message 3: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited Jan 06, 2011 04:40PM) (new) - added it

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Yeah, the reviews for this are very positive. I'm going to order it. ^_^ Look forward to seeing what you think!


Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this! I've been wanting to read this too!


message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH It's very entertaining. I am enjoying the sparks between Mina and Rhys. And it has Zombies! Airships! and Borg-like people!


Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) Wow! Such an interesting mix. I've heard great things. Gonna order it!


Jacquie I loved this book, can't wait for the second in the series!


message 8: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH The characters are interesting and unconventional. And did I mention that there are zombies? It is really fun.


message 9: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey Seriously? Are there really zombies? This so does not look like a zombie book. Zombies made of iron? How do you take them out?!?! Haha.


message 10: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH The zombies aren't made of iron. They just run around and cause general mayhem and get shot in the head a lot.


message 11: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey Well, I guess that's generally what they do. There's really no hope for them... Unless, youre Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead. Then you get to live in a shed and play video games. Now that's the 'un'life.


message 12: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Never did get to see Shaun of the dead. Saw Zombieland.


message 13: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey Oh! I love them both!!! Double tap! Zombie movies rock. You have to watch Shaun of the Dead. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are hilarious. I think Zombieland is my favorite, though.


message 14: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Zombieland was funny. I usually can't handle the gore of zombie movies, but this one was OK. I'm sure we have a copy of that other movie floating around the house. I'll have to watch it on one of those snowed in days.


message 15: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey I don't remember if it was that gory. I think the parts that were... They were kinda jokily gory. Like Kill Bill, not realistic looking. Not too bad, if I'm remembering right.


message 16: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Good to know! Thanks.


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... I've been so tempted to read this!!

Great review!


message 18: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, Dhes. I enjoyed it a lot.


message 19: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, Zosia! Have you read it yet?


MelissaB Great review! I will be reading this one just to check it out.


message 21: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, Melissa. I hope you enjoy it!


message 22: by Fani (new) - rated it 3 stars

Fani Great review AH! I see you liked it more than I did despite (or because?) of the Borg similarities:)


message 23: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, Fani. I've always been a Star Trek fan. Loved the creepiness of the Borg.


Greta is Erikasbuddy Awesome review!!


message 25: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, Greta. Are you planning on reading it? It is such a cool world.


Greta is Erikasbuddy I don't know yet. IT gets such awesome reviews that I feel like I could give it a shot :)


message 27: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Read the author's website first - just about her world. It will make it easier to understand. I had trouble the first few chapters. Then it really is a neat world with really great characters and Kraken!


Regina Is this YA?


message 29: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Regina wrote: "Is this YA?"

No, definitely not YA.


Regina Good! It is moving up on my list, thank you.


message 31: by Quinn (new) - added it

Quinn Great reivew, AH. I've had this on TBR for a while and I've been hesitant to read it. I'm thinking it's probably not for me, but it gets such good reviews. It's a dilemma, I tell you!


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Great review, AH! My Cyber Book Club here on GRs is reading this in Feb. Looking forward to reading this!


message 33: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Thanks, guys! Quinn, it may not be something you read regularly, but it is well written and a really entertaining story.

Lady Jayne - I would recommend that your book club take a look at Meljean Brook's website as you are reading. She answers a lot of questions there.


Catherine Nice review! I've heard that the next book focuses on Yasmine, so we should get some more of her soon. :)


message 35: by Brittany B. (new) - added it

Brittany B. I have this, but have waited to read it. Hmmm... Zombies? It'll be a first for me.


message 36: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH The zombies are more of a background in this book wreaking havoc wherever they are. Most of the humans are safe and sound. The book doesn't really have gross brain eating.


message 37: by Brittany B. (new) - added it

Brittany B. AH wrote: "The zombies are more of a background in this book wreaking havoc wherever they are. Most of the humans are safe and sound. The book doesn't really have gross brain eating."

Is it steamy? Im a sucker for a good love story set in fantasy/paranormal/steampunk fiction no matter how many brains are consumed :)


Regina It is very steamy. Some of the best written steamy scenes I have ever read.


message 39: by Brittany B. (new) - added it

Brittany B. Yay!! I'm reading ASAP!


message 40: by Josh (new)

Josh I don't think I've ever read a romance novel, but this one is on my list anyway. I'm just now getting into the steampunk genre, and this was a great review. Sounds like an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-and-possibly-that-as-well kind of thing.


message 41: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Josh wrote: "I don't think I've ever read a romance novel, but this one is on my list anyway. I'm just now getting into the steampunk genre, and this was a great review. Sounds like an everything-but-the-kitche..."

Meljean Brook writes really imaginative steampunk/romance. Take a look at her website where she gives the background for her world: http://meljeanbrook.com/books/the-iro... . It's an alternate universe, richly detailed and some very fun characters.


message 42: by Josh (new)

Josh Thanks for the link, AH. :) I'll be sure to read the whole thing right before I start the book. Not sure when that will be at this point.


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