Genre: Steampunk

Review: Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven

Posted September 11, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Gaslight Hades by Grace DravenReviewer: Holly
Gaslight Hades (The Bonekeeper Chronicles, #1) by Grace Draven
Series: The Bonekeeper Chronicles #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: March 10, 2017
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 117
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four-stars

Nathaniel Gordon walks two worlds—that of the living and the dead. Barely human, he's earned the reputation of a Bonekeeper, the scourge of grave robbers. He believes his old life over, until one dreary burial he meets the woman he once loved and almost married.

Lenore Kenward stands at her father’s grave, begging the protection of the mysterious guardian, not knowing he is her lost love. Resolved to keep his distance, Nathaniel is forced to abandon his plan and accompany Lenore on a journey into the mouth of Hell where sea meets sky, and the abominations that exist beyond its barrier wait to destroy them.

GASLIGHT HADES is a 39k-word novella-length gaslamp fantasy romance with a sprinkling of airships, monsters and ghosts.  This story may also be found in the duology, Beneath a Waning Moon, alongside an Elizabeth Hunter tale.

Gaslight Hades is a dark and gritty novella that introduces us to a new Steampunk series by Grace Draven.

Nathaniel Gordon used to be a gunner on an airship, until he fell into hell and was remade by a monster. Now he’s a Guardian; Able to walk between two worlds – the living and the dead – he’s a Bonekeeper, a protector of graveyards and those who reside in them from grave robbers, who steal dead bodies and deliver them to madmen to be experimented on and brought back to life in the worst imaginable way. Life as he knew it is over, he understands and accepts that…until his lost love, Lenore Kenward, turns up in his graveyard for her father’s funeral.

Lenore begs The Guardian to watch over her father’s grave, not realizing he’s what’s left of the man she was meant to marry. There’s something very familiar about him, and she finds herself drawn to him despite his appearance and the probably danger. But will she still be able to accept him once she finds out the truth?

This my first story by Draven. I really like Steampunk so I expected to enjoy it, but I was surprised by how much I liked it. I was very sad it ended when it did. I would have loved to have more: More of the world, more Lenore and definitely more Nathaniel. I’m really excited to see this is just the start of a series and I hope all 6 Guardians get their own books.

3.5 out of 5

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
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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
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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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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
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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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Review: The Kraken King Part V: The Kraken King and the Iron Heart by Meljean Brook

Posted May 13, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Kraken King Part V: The Kraken King and the Iron Heart by Meljean BrookReviewer: Tracy
The Kraken King Part V by Meljean Brook
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 107
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The Kraken King, Part VThe Kraken King and the Iron Heart

With their lives and the fate of an empire at stake, Ariq is forced to leave Zenobia behind. Held captive by their enemies, Zenobia can only pray that Ariq keeps his promise to come for her—until a terrible loss prods her to action.

Ariq has no intention of handing over the Skybreaker to the two men responsible for the marauders’ attacks against Krakentown—but without a ransom to give them, Ariq must risk everything to rescue Zenobia and stop the swarming forces bent on destruction…

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

Zenobia and Ariq have been kidnapped and separated. Ariq has been taken to show the rebels the location of the Skybreaker, a war machine that the rebels plan on using against the current Khagan. Ariq, of course has no desire to see the Skybreaker in the hands of the fools who want it. Not only would it destroy the Khagan and his followers, it would also destroy many innocents as well, and Ariq wants no part of it. He also wants nothing more than to get back to Zenobia. He promised her he would rescue her and so he will.

He risks a daring escape to find her, but Zenobia is not where he left her. The ironship that carries Zenobia has sailed and Zenobia worries that Ariq won’t be able to find her. On top of that the man who holds her captive forces her to stop writing and tells lies about Ariq that makes her start believing that Ariq won’t come for her. Her old doubts and fears about her worth rear their ugly heads and Zenobia decides that she must escape on her own.

While Zenobia and Ariq spend the better part of this installment apart I never felt that they were far from each other in spirit. They each had the other foremost in their minds and it solidified the importance of the relationship in my mind. The fact that while they feared for their own lives but were still thinking of the other first, spoke to me of selflessness and true love.

Ariq also finds out from Zenobia some disturbing information about Krakentown. He needs to get back to the Red City to secure help from Helene’s husband, the French Ambassador, but he knows it won’t be easy. He looks forward to spending more time with Zenobia but knows that he must do his all to save Krakentown.

Man I love Ariq! He’s one hot man but he’s always putting others first – thinking of Zenobia and Krakentown before himself. I love what a protector he is to those he loves. Zenobia in this story showed me her true inner strength.  Her determination to save herself and the plan she had to execute it was pretty brilliant.  I applauded her as she went about wielding her sleeve full of gold coins – they packed a punch!

The descriptions of the airship that Ariq is on, the ironship that Zenobia is on and then eventually of a balloon were so vivid I almost felt as if I was riding in each one of them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Brook’s writing. She sucks me in and doesn’t let go – no matter how long or short the episode/novel is. I’m so looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Zenobia and Ariq progresses.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Meljean Brook

four-half-stars


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