A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.
Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.
Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam . . .
AH’s Review – 5 Skulls – A
There is so much to love about Meljean Brook’s The Iron Seas series. Each book stands on its own so you really don’t need to read the books in order. The world is imaginative and original and an alternative history to our own. For a brief synopsis of this world, I would recommend that you look at the author’s website for her Iron Seas Guide.
Riveted is steampunk done right. Oh, the whimsical steampunk technology! Giant, four-legged, sealskin covered, steam powered walkers called trolls scare away the curious from the town of Hannasavik. There is a scene where one of these trolls was a-rocking, a sight I would have loved to have seen.
Clockwork sled dogs, robots, airships, even a huge mechanical boat-eating whale (a homage to Jules Verne perhaps?) This book is full of awesome. Take, for example, the main character David, a broken and damaged man. Add in some nanoagents, some clockwork and brass, mechanical legs, a hand that is better and stronger than the original flesh and bone, add an enhanced eye and there you have it! Steampunk Man!
Riveted is set in the sparsely populated Iceland, a land that had been mostly abandoned due to volcanic activity. Snow, ice, rocks, active volcanoes, Iceland is not suitable for habitation except for the hardiest settlers. It’s the perfect place for our heroine’s family to hide out. The secret town of Hannasvik is a town of women who wish to live an alternate lifestyle without men.
I love the romantic couple in this book. Annika Fridasdotter is an unconventional female lead. Seeing herself as a timid rabbit, Annika is anything but that. Annika is independent, fierce, spirited, and smart. Annika hails from Hannasavik and is an engineer on the airship Phateon. She is on a mission to find her sister Kalla and bring her back home. David Kentewess is a volcanologist who wants to survey all of Iceland in order to find his mother’s people. David’s mother died in the accident that caused him the loss of his eye, hand, and legs.
The attraction begins slowly, a yearning and desire that builds up so much so that I was yelling at the book – “Kiss her already!” Annika is very set in her ways – she wants to be in love before she’ll have a physical relationship. David is intrigued by Annika, even when she tells him that she won’t sleep with him. He cares deeply for her and his alpha side shows when she is in danger.
The book had a little bit of a slow start for me. It is quite different from The Iron Duke and Heart of Steel. Once I got into the story, I could not put the book down. If you are hesitant about starting a steampunk novel or haven’t really read many books in this genre, this is a good book to start.
I’m excited to hear that there are more books planned for The Iron Seas series. I can’t wait to read more of this series.
Series Reading Order:
1. The Iron Duke
2. Heart of Steel
1. Wild & Steamy (anthology) – The Blushing Bounder
2. Burning Up (anthology) – Here There Be Monsters
3. Mina Wentworth and the Invisible Series
Thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin for a review copy of this book.
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