Maya's Reviews > The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
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's review
Aug 26, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: britlit, europe, timetravel-alternate-reality, steampunk

I hold this author to a higher standard than average. So I was expecting a lot.

5 stars for worldbuilding - loved the steampunk alt-Victorian post-colonial setting. And bonus, a Kraken!

4 stars for characters as individuals. Lady pirate, etiquette counselor/action dude/fear of heights guy rolled into one, ultra proper Brit matron who can invent anything - all excellent.

2 stars for relationships. Couldn't quite buy into how different aspects took place, between hero and heroine, between heroine and sibling. I've read about how the first encounter was a cause of great concern to some readers and understand why it could be the overriding element for some. But I also think that it reflected how limited his experience of real + adult rather than forced + childabusive relationships was, and that this bad beginning formed an interesting source of narrative conflict in terms of how they both dealt with her occupation inspired trauma. To me, it was a very different type of situation than those in some old-skool novels. Even so - I was unhappily bumped out of the book while reading and could only make my peace with developments by analyzing after the fact. That's not really how I want my ideal reading experience to be.

5 stars/1 star for climactic air/sea battle scene - 5 for action all over the place, 1 for fact I was utterly confused by an entire naval fleet not doing anything about one of their own being blasted to bits. Either I totally missed some comprehension clues, or else this was a logical flaw. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Works out to 3 stars average. Will visit this world again.

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