D.G.'s Reviews > The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
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Jan 16, 2011

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bookshelves: reviewed, steampunk
Read from June 18 to 22, 2011

This is a disappointed 3-star rating.

I loved the prequel and had great expectations for this book. I was dying to learn more about this world that Ms. Brooks put together but instead I found plot holes the size of krakens.

I didn’t expect to learn everything but at least I wanted more background on the Horde, specially why they kept the ‘buggers’ in England. Once I realized the extent of their technology – they could implant nanoagents that could control people, for God’s sakes – I didn't understand why the English people were so important that they were allowed to live...and in their own country no less! If the Horde really wanted to have the Island, the most expedient thing would have been to follow the example of the tribes of yore: you kill all the men and rape the women. Then in a generation everybody in England has Horde blood, you destroy their culture and 200 years later, nobody even remembers the English. It’s what I would have done if I had this kind of technology and wanted to dominate the world. (I guess that’s why my husband says I’m bloodthirsty.)

Instead, the Horde chooses to keep the English as sort of slaves, abolishing some of their rights but keeping them aware that they weren’t ‘master of their domain.’ What did the English have that made them more important alive than dead? That’s never explained. If I’d been at the realm and had to keep somebody, I’d definitely have chosen the French (after all, they have a way with wine) but instead, the Horde fills Europe full of zombies so they can use machines to cultivate the land without having those pesky Europeans around (which can’t live there because of the zombies, you know.) Of course, this means that the Horde cannot live there either. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for the Horde to just move in? It’s not as if there weren’t any people in their Empire (which at its zenith had a population of 100 million) and some of them lived in pretty rough environments. I guess it never occurred to the technologically advanced Horde that some of its people would have preferred living in Tuscany than freezing their ass in Siberia.

Then, I found the main couple completely unremarkable. The heroine had a martyr complex – she’s always sacrificing herself – and I hated how the author created a conflict based on race issues but then danced around it by not even describing the heroine and then having the big conflict resolved almost overnight. Because Jackie Robinson proved that you can change people’s minds by having a good month at the plate.

I have more issues with the plot but I’m tired of complaining. Given how much I liked the prequel, I *may* give the second book a try but needless to say, I won’t be jumping to buy it as soon as it comes out.
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Reading Progress

06/19 page 82
22.0% "I'm not enjoying this one as much as the prequel because I've found several of my pet peeves." 18 comments
06/21 page 200
53.0% "Mina's mother is very resourceful!"
03/24 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead D.G., you haven't read this yet? You'll love it!


D.G. No, I haven't! I just got it from a swap today.

I'm really excited. I have the prequel from the library so I'm planning to read that one first.

So many books, so little time!


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead D.G. wrote: "No, I haven't! I just got it from a swap today.

I'm really excited. I have the prequel from the library so I'm planning to read that one first.

So many books, so little time!"


I loved the prequel too. About having so many books, so little time... I received 14 books in the mail yesterday and only TWO I bought. I think my post office is going to ban me!


D.G. LOL, Michelle.

I'm glad the prequel is good. I may not be able to read TID this month, but I'm definitely reading the prequel in the next couple of days. Something to whet my appetite!


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead D.G. wrote: "LOL, Michelle.

I'm glad the prequel is good. I may not be able to read TID this month, but I'm definitely reading the prequel in the next couple of days. Something to whet my appetite!"


You'll love it (.... I hope)


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Too bad it didn't live up to your expectations! :( Thanks for the great review, though!


Miss Spot on D.G., my sentiments exactly.


D.G. Thanks, Miss. Are you going to continue reading the series?


Miss I'm conflicted about it since I really liked the steampunk world and next book's H/h.
I think I will try it though. How about you DG?


message 10: by D.G. (new) - rated it 3 stars

D.G. I think I will try it too. Hopefully the plot holes won't bother me as much, now that I don't have such high expectations for the book.


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