As part of The Iron Seas Challenge at vvb32reads, I have my review of the first story in Meljean Brook's Iron Seas Series! Check out the rest of the reviews in the challenge here!
'Here There Be Monsters'
by Meljean Brook
from the anthology: "Burning Up"
Release Date: Aug 3, 2010
Source: sent by the author in exchange for honest review
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Ivy, a blacksmith, desperately needs to get out of London-her life depends on it. So she accepts passage on Mad Machen's ship, against her better judgement. Mad Machen, or Eben, is well known as a ruthless pirate, notorious for his ill treatment of prisoners and even his crew. Ivy escapes Eben immediately, but she knows she can't hide from him forever. He'll be back to make sure she pays him what she owes.
I love a good steampunk story and this one was great! The author balanced the romance well with the technology and gadgets that readers want to see in a steampunk story. The author paints a detailed picture of a different world that never once feels confusing or unbelievable.
This is a story where I'm so glad the romance genre uses two points of view-the heroine as well as the hero. At first, if I had only gone off of Ivy's preconceived notions of Eben, I wouldn't have liked him at all. But since we got to listen in on his thoughts as well, I totally understood why he had such a scary, hard image. I was able to also see the flip side of his personality and I liked him very much.
In true steampunk fashion, the leads had mechanical body parts, which was pretty fascinating. In fact, part of Ivy's job was to make and repair mechanical limbs.
There are so many supporting characters, each vividly drawn. The characters are especially deep for a short story. I'm eager to see them develop in the rest of the series.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Bottom Line: This was a fantastic romance as well as a well-developed steampunk fantasy. I can't wait to read more about this world and these characters in "The Iron Duke."
(note: this review is only for Meljean Brook's story, not the entire anthology)