Reading Level: Adult
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Iron Seas series
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. This is the third book in the Iron Seas series. The books in this series follow stories of different characters but are set in the same world. This was by far the best Iron Seas book yet. The plot was engrossing, the characters had wonderful chemistry, there is tons of action and adventure, and the creativity of the world is amazing.
Annika was raised in a secret society of all women, when she accidentally exposed the tribe her sister took the blame and was banished. Annika has spent the last four years in the New World trying to find her sister; all that time she has been serving on the airship Phatéon. David is searching for secrets to his mother’s past and on his way to an expidition to study a volcanoe in Iceland; when he hears Annika’s accent he recognizes it as his mother’s accent as well. Now David wants to know Annika’s secrets. Of course when a madman sets the Phateon on a course of destruction David and Annika find themselves stranded and dependent on each other for survival.
Everything about this story is perfectly balanced. There is a wonderfully creative and intricate world; if you have read other Iron Seas novels you know the world these stories are set in absolutely rocks. You have zombies, nanoagents, steampunk body parts, and the Horde; along with an intricate history of humanity’s fall and struggle to rise again.
There is a very intriguing plot. You have Annika’s missing sister, a mysterious plot to use the volcanoes power for invention, and David’s search for his history as well as his scientific interest in volcanoes. It is a wonderful plot with many threads that come together to make a very engaging story.
Then there are the characters. All of them are interesting even the side characters. Of course it is Annika and David that steal the show. Annika is somewhat naive because of her upbrings but very brave and determined to find her sister. The way she pilots the lumbering Trolls and comes up with solutions during airship battles is admirable. She constantly underestimates her own bravery.
David is another awesome character. He is half machine and infected by nanoagents, he is used to being reviled and scorned for this. That gives him a great wounded male vibe. He respects Annika, is supportive, and is super smart and interesting because of his scientific research into volcanoes. Seriously you want to know more about David as soon as you meet him.
Together these two are explosive. They complement each other well and there is not insta-love; it takes time for them to develop a loving a trusting relationship and it is super engaging and fun to watch it develop. The chemistry between them is awesome and the romantic scenes are incredibly steamy and emotional. So…uh..yeah there is a good dash of romance in this book, but it is surrounded by an incredibly well done story and the romance itself is one of the most well done romances I have ever read.
There is also action galore and some spectacular battle scenes, I loved the balance of all of the different above elements. The story is incredibly well written and easy to read and increibly engaging…I could not put this book down.
Overall I really, really loved this book. It was a perfect combination of action, a complex world, an intriguing plot, wonderful characters, a heartpounding romance, and excellent writing. The other book with a similar tone to it (that I have read earlier this year and like almost as much) was Firelight by Kristen Callihan. If you liked Firelight you will love this book. If you love steampunk and you don’t mind some romance in the story you will love this book as well. I highly recommend it.