I am totally loving this serial. Loving. And that’s coming from someone who is not normally a big fan of having to wait to see what happens. Ms. Brook ramped up the intensity in the last installment with some truly delicious sexual tension between Zenobia and Ariq and a tense, action packed scene where our characters fight for their lives against a boilerworm.
Guys, it’s getting good.
After the boilerworm attack, Zenobia and her companions have even more reasons to accompany Ariq and his people to the smuggler’s dens. Zenobia still has to get her friend Helene to Red City before her secret gets out and now they must also find a competent blacksmith to help Cooper recover from his injuries. The only problem is Zenobia is attracted to her Kraken King more than ever, but he has discovered several things about her that worry him and has decided to distance himself until he can figure out who exactly she is and what she knows. The distance between them only serves to heighten Zenobia’s doubts about Ariq’s true feelings and intentions. Their romance is still simmering, the intensity still slowing building. I can’t tell you guys how truly engrossed I am with this couple and how captivated I am by their developing relationship. It takes some serious talent to keep readers engaged in a slow building romance when they are forced to wait a week between each installment.
The smuggler’s dens are described in exquisite detail as Ariq visits several of the leaders in hopes of obtaining more information about who is behind the marauders attacks on the airships. Readers are introduced to some truly creepy villains, especially the twins who rule over the Fox’s Den. While Ariq is meeting with different leaders, Zenobia is left on her own and must make a couple of important decisions about whether to stay with her injured protectors or leave immediately with Helene. That’s when she gets into some serious trouble and Ariq comes to her rescue.
This installment contains chapters 9-12 and leaves off on another exciting development. So far this serial has everything I’ve come to expect from a Meljean Brook steampunk: action, adventure, wonderfully detailed world-building and a lovely slow burn romance between a strong heroine and a hero who isn’t afraid to break a man in half to rescue his girl. Final Grade- B+
On to The Kraken King Part IV: The Kraken King and the Inevitable Abduction.
How could anyone build defenses against such a woman? She’d jumped fearlessly from a falling balloon flyer and lured a boilerworm with fire, and now she was willing to stand up to men in mechanical suits.