Author: Meljean Brook

Retro Review: Demon Angel by Meljean Brook

Posted February 8, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Retro Review: Demon Angel by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #1
Also in this series: Demon Moon, Demon Night, Demon Bound, Demon Forged, Guardian Demon
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: January 2nd 2007
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father's armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation. That is, until she faces her greatest temptation—Heaven's own Sir Hugh Castleford...

Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons—and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil—and against a desire that has been too long denied...

 ******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.
Man, I miss Meljean Brook. Per her website, she’s still writing, but things are going slooow. We haven’t had a new release from her in way too long. Demon Angel isn’t my favorite Brook novel, but it sets up this world so beautifully I had to repost this review. I feel a series re-read coming on.
This review was originally published July 15, 2013

The world building was imaginative, sensual and amazing. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Brook drew me into her fierce battle for souls and the fight between good and evil. I was also drawn in by the two lead characters, Lilith and Hugh. Though they came from two different worlds (literally) and were on opposite sides of an eternal battle, their connection to one another came across as not just sexual, but very emotional as well, which made their constant conflict all the more believable.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters and the relationships they had with Lilith and Hugh. Colin, the vampire they both befriended despite themselves; Sir Pup, Lilith’s hellhound; Savi, Hugh’s roommate and even Auntie, the woman who once took Hugh in, were fabulous characters, and while they played a large part in the overall story, they in no way intruded on the focus of the main story.

There were too many questions left unanswered, I think. Part of the appeal of this book is it really makes you think. Nothing is tied up in a nice, neat little bow, there are questions left unanswered and things you have to figure out on your own. Which was good and bad. I felt there were a few too many things left unexplained. However, because this is the first book of a series, I’m willing to wait for the next book before passing judgment.

I really struggled with the pacing. As much as I enjoyed this book, it was very slow moving. At times, the pace would pick up and I’d be sucked in, unable to set it down, and then it would get bogged down again and I’d have a hard time giving it my full attention. I understand that a lot of the information imparted was important for the story and the basis of the world Brook created, but at times there was Too Much Information. I think, in all honesty, the story could have been 100 pages shorter and been better for it.

Overall, I adored the storyline, the world building and the characters. I can’t wait for Demon Moon. I do hope, however, that the pacing will work better than it did in this one.

I think I’m going to give this one a solid:

4 out of 5

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This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

*This review was first published at Sanctuary’s Finest.

four-stars


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Review: The Kraken King Part VIII: The Kraken King and The Greatest Adventure by Meljean Brook (+a Giveaway!)

Posted June 3, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Kraken King Part VIII: The Kraken King and The Greatest Adventure by Meljean Brook (+a Giveaway!)Reviewer: Tracy
The Kraken King Part VIII by Meljean Brook
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
Pages: 82
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Arriving in Krakentown with their enemies in hot pursuit, Zenobia doesn’t know how they can even hope to win. Being terrified brings forth an undeniable truth: she loves Ariq and will do whatever it takes to stand by him.

But as their adversaries appear on the horizon, they realize that not all is lost. Drawing on the power of the terrible war machine, Ariq, Zenobia, and the entire town must put their lives on the line to protect what they love…

Includes a bonus excerpt of Meljean Brook’s “Here There Be Monsters.”
Praise for the novels of the Iron Seas:
“A stunning blend of steampunk setting and poignant romance.”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times bestselling author
“Every glimpse of this alternate history leaves me fascinated and hungry for more.”—All Things Urban Fantasy
“Meljean Brook has brilliantly defined the new genre of steampunk romance.”—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author
Meljean Brook lives in Oregon with her family. She is the author of the Guardian paranormal romance and Iron Seas steampunk series.

Everything that Ariq and Zenobia have been crazy.  They are now back in Krakentown and they have 3 different enemies to work through – the Empress being the one that could really make or break the town.  Ariq didn’t want to actually use the Skybreaker but he soon realizes that he has no choice and must do what he can to save his town. He uses all of his resources as well as the assistance of friends old and new and sets out to show that him and his town aren’t threats.
The final installment in the Kraken King was so very good.  Yes, it’s the conclusion to the story but it was almost non stop action and I loved it.
At the heart of Brooks’s stories we have romance.  This was shown so clearly and so wonderfully in Part VIII.  Zenobia and Ariq are so awesome together.  They are intellectually perfect for each other and I adore how much they love each other.  They finally have the faith in the other that their love is true and lasting.  It made my heart happy to read such a touching story.
Rating: 5 out of 5


Meljean Brook
The series:
I highly recommend this serial novel.  It’s much larger than a regular novel and is worth every penny imho. From word one I couldn’t get enough of The Kraken King and that excitement stayed with me throughout the series.
If you haven’t started it then you should. Now.  Go on, I’ll wait.  *twiddles thumbs* Okay you’re taking way too long.  Why don’t I help you along?  I’ll give away the first two parts to one lucky winner.  Believe me, you won’t want to stop reading.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars


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Review: The Kraken King Part VII: The Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes by Meljean Brook

Posted May 28, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Kraken King Part VII: The Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes by Meljean BrookReviewer: Tracy
The Kraken King Part VII by Meljean Brook
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 121
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

The Kraken King, Part VIIThe Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes

In the imperial city, nothing escapes the attention of the empress’s spies. After a visit from an old friend rekindles her every fear, Zenobia must decide whether to trust Ariq with her heart—and the Kraken King must decide whether he can ever let her go.

But when danger invades their lovers’ sanctuary, Ariq and Zenobia will have to put aside their troubled emotions. Outwitting their enemies and the Empress will be no easy feat. Luckily, they have a few allies waiting in the wings…

Warning: This review may contain spoilers from The Kraken King Parts I-VI.
Ariq and Zenobia are in the Imperial City and Ariq is trying to drum up contacts so that he can get to the Empress.  He needs to impress upon her the truth about the marauders and who’s really behind it all. Unfortunately he’s not having much luck.  He feels the need to return to Krakentown to see what’s happening as he’s heard nothing from the people he’s sent.
Unfortunately Ariq and Zenobia get a visit from the Captain of the Empresses Guard and the Empress…kind of.  They want information from Ariq and they aren’t afraid to go to extreme lengths to get it.
This was an amazing episode!  I can’t begin to you tell the the vast array of emotions this one brought out in me.  It started off with Zenobia’s letter to her brother Archimedes at the start of the book.  I hadn’t even started main part of the story and I needed a tissue cuz I was getting choked up.
The story takes us further into the relationship between Ariq and Zenobia and their misinterpretations of the others feelings.  Ariq still thinks that he’s fighting to crumble the walls of Zenobia’s heart even though she loves him (but she’s never said it out loud) and Zenobia fears that that love she has with Ariq will fall apart at any moment. I just love A & Z together and frankly seeing their angst was a bit heart wrenching for me.  They really are the perfect couple and once they work out everything out I think they’ll be awesome.
The story then flows into a “visit” from the Empress and her Guard.  They are determined to get information from Ariq (isn’t everyone?) and let’s just say they don’t play nice.  I was on the edge of my seat.  I have to thoroughly applaud Meljean Brook on her crazy brain.  (lol – I mean that in the best possible way, of course.) Her imagination boggles my mind and I find the different mechanical objects ad scenarios she comes up with in The Iron Seas series fascinating.  This installment was no different with her automaton and screw beetles…and how they’re used – wow.
Unfortunately the story was left on a freakin cliffhanger!!!  I seriously yelled NOOOO! out loud when the book ended (yes, scared the crap outta the cat).  I’m just not sure I can wait until next week to find out what happens.  Well, I can, I just may be bald by next Tuesday. The story is an intense, hang on to the edge of your seat kind of novella.  It’s gritty and exciting while still being a total romance.  I loved every minute of it and can’t wait for part VIII.
Rating: 5 out of 5
five-stars


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The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster by Meljean Brook

Posted May 20, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
The Kraken King Part I by Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #4, The Kraken King Serial #1
Also in this series: Fire and Frost, Tethered (Novella), The Kraken King Part I, The Kraken King Part II, The Kraken King Part III, The Kraken King Part IV, The Kraken King Part V, The Kraken King Part VI, The Kraken King Part VII, The Kraken King Part VIII
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Pages: 102
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Experience the incredible adventure and heart-stopping romance of the Iron Seas in this thrilling steampunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook.
The Kraken King, Part IThe Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster
A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…
After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.
But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…
Includes a bonus excerpt of Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke.
More to come…Don’t miss The Kraken King, Part II

Praise for the novels of the Iron Seas:
“A stunning blend of steampunk setting and poignant romance.”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times bestselling author
“Every glimpse of this alternate history leaves me fascinated and hungry for more.”—All Things Urban Fantasy
“Meljean Brook has brilliantly defined the new genre of steampunk romance.”—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author
Meljean Brook lives in Oregon with her family. She is the author of the Guardian paranormal romance and Iron Seas steampunk series.

I loved Zenobia in Brooks’ previous books and I’m glad to see her featured here. Her wit and humor come through so well. The Kraken King is an 8 part serial. This review is for part 1.

Zenobia Fox is the sister of popular adventurist Archimedes Fox, who is married to the ruthless mercenary, Captain Corsair. She is also the author of the popular Archimedes Fox serial adventures, as well as the new Lady Lynx adventures – something she wishes to keep quiet. Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside her control, it’s become well-known not only that she’s the author and that her brother is willing to pay a fortune in ransom for her.  As a result, Zenobia’s been kidnapped four times. When her childhood friend, Helene, asks her to travel to the Red City with her, she seizes the chance to get away from her home and – hopefully – out of danger.  It’s a good thing Zenobia wanted adventure, because their airship is taken over she ends up in Krakentown, under the watchful eye of The Kraken King.

Ariq has never met anyone like Zenobia. She’s plain featured, but her personality shines from her like a beacon. She’s witty, intelligent and has secrets. Secrets Ariq wants to uncover…slowly, if possible. She’s determined to reach the Red City as quickly as possible. Ariq is convinced she’s ferreting information to someone, though he isn’t sure quite why.

Zenobia is such a likable character. She’s quick of wit, sharp of tongue and has a surprisingly bawdy sense of humor. She’s also practical and shrewd. She understands her circumstances and takes steps to protect herself, but she also refuses to sit on the sidelines and let life pass her by.

Ariq is a man who takes his responsibilities serious. He’s the governor of Krakentown and has vowed to keep his citizens safe. Though he spent years fighting for the resistance, he chose to walk away and provide a safe place for any person who needs it. His feelings for Zenobia come through quite well. He isn’t just attracted to her physically. He also wants to uncover her secrets and secure her heart.

Brook always writes and engaging tale, and this first part of her new serial is no exception. There’s drama, adventure and a large amount of action. I can’t wait for the story to continue.

4 out of 5

This installment is available from InterMix. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Review: The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls by Meljean Brook

Posted May 20, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls by Meljean BrookReviewer: Tracy
The Kraken King Part VI by Meljean Brook
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 20th 2014
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 88
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The Kraken King, Part VIThe Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls

Reunited, Ariq and Zenobia must journey over the red wall and make a desperate appeal to the one woman with enough power to halt the marauders’ plans—the Empress of Nippon.

But even the Kraken King cannot demand the attentions of an empress. Masked and quarantined, Ariq and Zenobia are forced to bide their time. Despite the fact that they are as physically close as two people can be, Zenobia is trying to keep the man she can’t help but love at a distance, terrified she’ll be hurt again. And all the while, the mysteries of the Living City grow around them…

Warning: This review contains spoilers from Parts I, II, III, IV & V of The Kraken King.

Ariq and Zenobia arrive in the Red City to seek help for Krakentown from the French Ambassador and eventually the Empress. Ariq knows that he’s now fighting two wars – one to save his town and one to win Zenobia’s heart. He’s determined to win both of them. Because of his past as a rebel he knows that assistance from the Empress will be hard to come by. He even uses his parentage as an “in” in hopes that the connection may sway things in his favor. In order to go to the part of the city where the Empress resides they must be quarantined and masked. Zenobia decides to accompany Ariq as she feels safest with him. She also knows that their night of passion that was interrupted by an abduction will soon happen and the anticipation is killing her.

Zenobia, who had thought that the marriage the she and Ariq agreed to was prentend, is shocked to find out that it’s real. He believes her his wife but she’s not sure if he’s her husband. In the Golden Empire an agreement between the two parties is all that is needed to make it legit. Zenobia obviously didn’t know that but she agrees that she will stay with Ariq to try and get to know him and see if the marriage can work. The story gives us insights into Ariq’s life that are both fascinating and heart-wrenching.

Zenobia and Ariq are becoming closer and finally end up in bed together – wow, just…wow. Their love and passion make those scenes so wonderful and I can almost applaud Brook for making us wait so long as it was definitely worth the wait.

Once again the descriptions rocked.  The buildings made of coral, the ocean, the sunrise – it all made for a wonderful picture in my mind. I’m anxiously awaiting the time when Ariq meets the Empress (as I assume he will) to see what that will be like. As the plot thickens in this serial I find myself at the edge of my seat. I want Ariq and Zenobia together permanently, I want Krakentown to be saved and I want a HEA for everyone! lol I find myself getting impatient to see what happens next. This installment was much quieter than some of the others, but no less intense.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Meljean Brook

four-half-stars


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