After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.My Thoughts: This is one of those books that I kept seeing stellar reviews for and yet, for whatever reason, I kept putting off buying. Then I made the fateful trip to the bookstore that's closing and suddenly the planets aligned and I was the proud owner of this little beauty.
But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
Oh, guys. There was so very much I loved about this book. I adored the worldbuilding. It was dark and gritty. The reasoning behind how clockwork creatures and body parts and automatons came into being makes sense. The world is layered and full and it's a little terrifying. The characters that populate this world are outstanding. The idea of this entire society that has been enslaved and controlled by something so small that it can't be seen by the human eye boggles me. The picture that's drawn of people forced into mating frenzies and having their emotions ruthlessly repressed... well, I loved it.
But it was ultimately Mina that made the book for me. The loathing and hatred she faces every day for having the misfortune of being the product of rape, a half-breed Horde child, and her determination to rise above what people call her is incredible. Admittedly, while I admired that she tried so hard to keep the taunts and jeers from getting to her, I did get a little peeved that she seemed so unwilling to give she and Rhys a chance. I get it, but at the same time I wanted to give her a good shake and tell her that some things are worth risking everything for.
I really can't wait to see where the next book takes us.
More books by Meljean Brook
Reading challenges: The Morbid Romantica Challenge, The Steampunk Challenge, The Zombies! Challenge