Fani *loves angst*'s Reviews > The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
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I'm not writing a review for this one; I'm just going to mention a couple of things that "bugged" me:

1. This was more adventure than romance at least for the first 2/3 of the book. And despite the fact that it's focused on the suspense/action, two out of four battles against the vilains took place in no more than a paragraph. Totally anti-climatic.

2. This was my first steampunk and I think it may be my last. For the first 150 pages I got sick of reading about people with hammers instead of legs, mechanical lungs that needed extended tubes in their shoulders to work, pincers instead of hands and so on. The icing on the cake were the zombies that are described as mindless, vicious and highly infecting. Thankfully, the second part of the book on the airship was lighter and devoid of too many mental images like those.

3. The hero is described as cold and tortured in the beginning of the book. Well, I definitely didn't see it at least where the heroine was concerned. He touches her and he's immediately a goner. Puddle in her feet, lapdog in her arms. He will do anything to have her (although it's not love, he just wants to 'shag' he, but he's never felt so strongly for anyone else, et cetera et cetera). I'm sure many readers love the posessive/obsessive hero who is willing to cut his wrists and bleed himself dry so the heroine won't die of thirst, but for me this is sappy; sweet and sappy. I know however that most people love this kind of hero, so what's a minus for me is probably a plus for others.

4. I didn't particularly like the heroine or could understand all her actions and decisions. Again, this has only to do with my personal likes and dislikes rather than something particular in her behavior except for the fact that I thought she teased him and at the same time repelled him for more than was necessary.

As it's obvious, the reasons I didn't particularly enjoy it are purely personal; it was just not my cup of tea in too many areas. On the contrary, it was well written, fast paced (even though I didn't particularly like it, I was never bored) and had a couple of very interesting secondary characters. Will I go on with the rest of the series? Not likely but it's not out of the question either.
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Reading Progress

12/11/2010 page 42
11.0% "Time for me to read my first steampunk. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this genre is not for me:("
12/12/2010 page 125
33.0% "This starts off with one of my hated tropes: the hero sees the heroine and immediately decides she's his woman. I also find that I HATE the steampunk element. But the writing and mystery keep me turning the pages so far. And it's really fast paced, thank god:)" 10 comments
12/14/2010 page 172
46.0% "Men with pulverizing hammers as legs, women with pinchers for hands, others with metal tubes protruding from their shoulders plus wild, fierce zombies... The setting of the book is seriously freaking me out." 7 comments
12/16/2010 page 245
65.0% "On the good side the "forced seduction" scene didn't bother me AT ALL. Anyone who's ever read a bodice ripper won't lift an eyebrow here. On the bad side, I almost dislike the heroine. I certainly can't understand her." 19 comments
12/17/2010 page 304
80.0% 4 comments
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Comments (showing 1-33 of 33) (33 new)

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Anthi LOL den eisai exoikiwmenh me to steampunk gi'ayto!!


Anthi na thimasai oti polles fores to Steampunk san genre exei kai Dystopian elements, pantws an exeis apories gia to worldbouilding (an kai kata th gnwmh mou sto vivlio mesa ola ta exhgei apsoga) sto site ths Brook exei ena mikro primer pou ta exhgei ola teleia!!!


Fani *loves angst* pera toy oti den katalavainw pws leitoyrgoyn kapoies syskeyes, to opoio mporw kai na to prosperasw ka8ws den kaigomai na katalavw pws petaei to airship, eilikrina exw anatrixiasei me ayta ta pros8etika xeria kai podia kai swlhnes poy vgainoyn stoys wmoys apo toys pneymones. Isa isa poy to paleya me ayta, molis eftasa kai sta zombies, ahdiasa entelws na soy pw. Ais8anomai oti diavazw vivlio tromoy, oxi romance, afoy mexri stigmhs den exei kai poly romance anyway: mono poy thn koitaei kai th ligoyreyetai o typos.

Kai ayth den katalava akoma giati to 8ewrei oti 8a katestrefe thn oikogeneia ths na kanei sxesh mazi toy. Lefta xreiazontai kai lefta 8a toys edine. Epipleon, oloi fantazomai 8a ths elegan kai mpravo apo panw poy gohteyse ton e8niko hrwa, para 8a thn koroideyan.

To kalo einai oti exei drash arketh kai diavazetai grhgora, para tis perierges enoies poy exei. Kalo kai to grapsimo ths de lew, alla eilikrina, an ola ta steampunk einai toso mavra, na moy leipei to vysino.


Anthi to sygkekrimeono den einai arketa mayro gia steampunk an thes th gnwmh mou, alla kai genikotera de mou fanhke mayro giati emena ta gousta mou teinoun outws h' allws sto pio dark fantasy, kai egw thn vrika ypervolikh thn antidrashths sto na mh thelei na ta ftiaxei mazi ths o allos exaiteias tou ti tha pei o kosmos alla o Scarsdale exei dikio otan kapoia stigmh analyei tous logous ston Trachearn. To oti th ligoureyetai kai olh thn wra fantazetai oti thn phda de me enoxlhse giati to vrhka kai akrws realistiko, giati aloimono einai to prwto pragma pou skeftetai enas antras molis se dei kai se vrei elkystikh, pws eisia sto krevati tou, oyte an eisai exupnh oute an exeis proswpikothta, alla vlepeis oti siga siga kerdizei kai to sevasmo kai to thaymasmo tou me th symperifora ths gia na mhn pws oti ton vlepeis na parakala estw gia ena psixoulo antapokrishs apo th meria ths!!


Fani *loves angst* Eilikrina, ki egw eimai fan twn dark vivliwn, eite einai fantasy eite romance. To sygkekrimeno omws moy kanei pio poly horror para dark adventure kai paroti kapote diavaza tetoia, pia den einai toy styl moy. Kai dystyxws, ayta ta enhancemenets (sfyria sta podia, daganes sta xeria klp) einai gia mena san tis katsarides: den tis fovamai akrivws, alla me ahdiazoyn apisteyta.

Den to vlepw periergo oti thn ligoyreyetai, alimono, alla den to 8ewrw kai romance. Gia na xarakthrisw ena vivlio romance, prepei na exei kati parapanw apo to "se 8elw poly, me 8eleis ki esy, giati de pantreyomaste?" Kai toylaxiston, katalavainw giati th 8aymazei pera apo to oti th goystarei. Alla apo thn allh den mporw na katalavw auth. Moy 8ymizei ayto poy lene "tsaperdonokolosfyrixtra"! Ton goystarei, ton 8elei, ton afhnei na th filaei kai na th xaideyei alla meta... giok. Panw apo ola oi arxes! Mh xesw, me to sympa8io. Genikws 8a elega, h hrwida den einai apo tis agaphmenes moy, ka8e allo mallista. O hrwas omws einai pio endiaferon, an kai einai poly besotted gia ta goysta moy (sygnwmh alla oi prakseis toy einai prakseis erwteymenoy kai oxi mono ligoyrh!).

Peri oreksews koloky8opita vevaia, kai opws fainetai stoys prissoteroys arese to vivlio. Proswpika pantws to vriskw pio adventure para romance kai oxi idiaitera toy goystoy moy prepei na pw.

8ymise moy, ta Psy-Changelings ths Singh ta exeis diavasei? Nomizw oti 8a einai apolyta sta goysta soy krinontas apo ayto edw. Opws kai ta Devil in Winter kai It Happened One Autumn ths Kleypas. Egw anti8etws, me liges panta eksaireseis, antipa8w ta vivlia poy o hrwas thn pataei apo nwris me thn hrwida KAI to deixnei (an den to deixnei eimai OK). Diavase Anne Stuart kai 8a katalaveis ti ennow:)


Anthi Fani wrote: " Alla apo thn allh den mporw na katalavw auth. Moy 8ymizei ayto poy lene "tsaperdonokolosfyrixtra"! Ton goystarei, ton 8elei, ton afhnei na th filaei kai na th xaideyei alla meta... giok. Panw apo ola oi arxes! Mh xesw, me to sympa8io."

LMAO Thea! THea!
kala kai mena se kati faseis mou thn espase afou elega katstoy epitelous!! Ton eskases!! An kai katalavaina ta kollhmata ths na mhn plhgwthei, alla nai h gkomena htan "travate kai as klaiw", o Trachearn htan ontws endiaferon xarakthras kai tha hthela na eixa perissotero insight se ayton kai ennoeitai oti de ton thewrhsa ligourh alla erwteymeno (pou de to eixe parei xampari)

Apo kei kai pera to olo setting gia horror oxi de mou ekane, me tipota kiolas. Oxi ta Psy de ta exw alla tha ta tsekarw kapoia stigmh, mallon otan parw to reader. alla tha tsekarw ta alla pou anafereis!


message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Great review, Fani. Too bad you didn't enjoy the steampunk elements. It sounds like this book had more Borg (Star Trek) elements than steampunk.


message 8: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. I think this counts as a review. Good review. I think the same elements would bother me. Better luck with your next read!


Catherine Great review, Fani! I'm sorry you didn't like this one more, but I guess you can't win them all. I completely sympathize with you about Steampunk. I like the story ideas, but it's sort of hard for me to get into. I seem to get into it better when it's presented visually.


Anthi Nice review , although I did like the book a lot and the steampunk and zombie elements totally made the book for me lol, but I like steampunk and zombie novels so it all comes down to personal taste. I hope though that it didn't discourage you to read some more of Brook's novels, I strongly believe she is one of the best pnr writers out there!


Fani *loves angst* Thanks ladies! I'm better with the steampunk movies myself Catherine so I'll probably just stick with them from now on:)


Catherine Even though you didn't like this one I would still recommend her Guardian series. I love it (although NU isn't a fan of them). I completely agree with Anthi about her writing--she's one of my favorites.


message 13: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. Yeah, a lot of people like this author, I've noticed.


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

AH And just to add, even if you didn't like her version of steampunk, there are some out there that are kind of fun. Soulless comes to mind.


Catherine AH wrote: "And just to add, even if you didn't like her version of steampunk, there are some out there that are kind of fun. Soulless comes to mind."

I agree with this. The Steampunk elements are much lighter as well.


Fani *loves angst* AH wrote: "And just to add, even if you didn't like her version of steampunk, there are some out there that are kind of fun. Soulless comes to mind."

No mechanical men in there??? I would hate to read about more of them.


Fani *loves angst* Catherine wrote: "Even though you didn't like this one I would still recommend her Guardian series. I love it (although NU isn't a fan of them). I completely agree with Anthi about her writing--she's one of my fav..."

I might try one of them one day, but not the first one I think. I'm hesitant though because even though I liked her writing, the romance in TID was not to my liking. Strange as it may seem, I like a hero who doesn't not succumb to the heroine as quickly or as completely as the Rhys did. Is there any book in her series that's like this?


Catherine The hero of Demon Bound is actual scared and creeped out by the heroine for a while. You might like their interactions better.


Fani *loves angst* Thanks Catherine! That will probably suit me much better:)


Catherine I hope so. I'd hate to recommend a book and have you not like it. I enjoy her, but she's not for everyone. You might be one of the ones that aren't really into her.


Fani *loves angst* Catherine wrote: "I hope so. I'd hate to recommend a book and have you not like it. I enjoy her, but she's not for everyone. You might be one of the ones that aren't really into her."

Don't worry; it happens to all of us. When you like a book too much, it's difficult to see why someone else wouldn't. Besides, I didn't have a problem with her writing but with the world she created and the dynamics of the romance. With a diffirent world and another kind of hero, there's a good chance I may like it.


Catherine *fingers crossed*


Anthi Fani wrote: " Strange as it may seem, I like a hero who doesn't not succumb to the heroine as quickly or as completely as the Rhys did."

Then you might actually enjoy Demon Angel, it takes Hugh only...800 years for him to succumb to Lilith's chase eventhough he definetely wants her (but he never shows it to her) !! And during those centuries they try to kill each other in order to ease down some of the sexual tension between them (talkin' about misplaced feelings) lol!! I think Catherine's suggestion though might work for you, I personally love Colin from Demon Moon and Ethan from Demon Night!

AH wrote: "And just to add, even if you didn't like her version of steampunk, there are some out there that are kind of fun. Soulless comes to mind."

Soulless is indeed a more light read and Fani will probably enjoy it more but I don't consider it Steampunk, more like a Gas&Light novel, just because you throw in the mix some dirigibles and automatons doesn't mean you wrote Steampunk. You have to show how all this techonology affected and changed the society's structures and morals, I mean after all you describe alt history. The devil is in the details and Brook really pays attention to them and that's what makes her books awsome to me!


message 24: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Anthi - you are absolutely right. Soulless has a little love story in it that is fun and light.

Another story comes to mind - it's more young adult - Fever Crumb - No robots, but some really cool gadgets. There are, however, paper boys - automaton paper thin robots - but they don't detract from the story. Very clever book.

I also enjoyed Steamed by Katie MacAlister. Light and a cute little love story.


Anthi Thank you very much for the suggestions :-) I'll check them out. If you're interested in steampunk here some titles: Leviathan and Behemoth these are YA, there is also The Affinity Bridge, a book I really enjoy!


message 26: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I liked Leviathan. I saw Scott Westerfeld at a book signing and his presentation really sold me on the book. It's getting a lot of negative reviews on this site, but I enjoyed it.

I'll have to check out The Affinity Bridge.

Thanks for the recs.


Catherine Anthi wrote: "Fani wrote: " Strange as it may seem, I like a hero who doesn't not succumb to the heroine as quickly or as completely as the Rhys did."

Then you might actually enjoy Demon Angel, it takes Hugh ..."


I loved Colin as well. <3 I wasn't quite as big of a fan Demon Night, but it was still good. I thought the author did an excellent job showing a dependent women struggling to break the habit, but it was still hard for me to get into her.


message 28: by new_user (new)

new_user Yeah, I would consider Soulless a wallpaper steampunk. I'm not as big a fan of the genre as other people, personally.


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

AH I actually like the steampunk aspect when it is an alternative universe vs. Victorian England contraptions and gadgets. Am I as clear as mud? :)


Fani *loves angst* From what I read here, wallpaper steampunk is as deep in the genre as I want to delve right now:) But I think I'll stay away from even them right now; I need some time to clear my head of the revolting images of 'grafted' men.


message 31: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH It really sounds like that book was an episode of Star Trek when the Borgs made Captain Picard into a Borg.


Fani *loves angst* Exactly right AH! That is the last Star Trek movie I've watched. Now I wonder why....


Anthi Fani wrote: "Exactly right AH! That is the last Star Trek movie I've watched. Now I wonder why...."

LOL!!!

AH wrote: "I actually like the steampunk aspect when it is an alternative universe vs. Victorian England..."

Well I certainly don't think that it's obligatory for steampunk novels to take place in Victorian England, but the universe they describe should me reminiscent of Victorian England take for examble The Golden Compass.


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