The world-building in this series is so vivid and descriptive, without being flowery, and all I could think of was This is what Steampunk should be. The world-building alone makes this a 5 star book, but when you factor in the characters and the originality, it makes me wish I could rate this book higher.
There are so many threads to the plot at work and they’re very subtle at first. Each strand leads you a different direction at first, but ultimately they twist together and tie the characters and the plot together nicely.
Annika is from a hidden village in Iceland, and the village elders plan on keeping it hidden. But one of those plot threads leads outsiders near her home. The village might not stay hidden for much longer.
Annika meanwhile is an engineer aboard an airship, and one of those threads leads her in search of her sister Källa who was exiled for something Annika did. The next thread is David Kentewess and he tangles up the strands quite nicely. He and Annika have an interesting road to their relationship and it’s so unbelievably sweet.
A few plot threads you really don’t see coming are the villain of the piece (I won’t mention his name as it’s still a new book), and when Annika finally does find her sister, you will never believe where she’s been.
Annika’s village is so well-done. I can’t tell you what it is that I love about it, but it’s a beautiful approach to a controversial topic. Meljean Brook is an amazing writer, she weaves all of those seemingly insignificant plot threads into significance.
It’s a fantastic story.
I’m leaving this review short and sweet for a couple reasons. 1) I’ve written it and re-written it several times and I just don’t feel I’m doing justice to it, and 2) A lot happens in this story. While the romance is slow-paced, it is the driving action of the story. Without this romance, those plot threads just don’t weave together properly. I feel like if I give too much away, it could ruin the book for you.
So, final verdict: While this is book 3 in the Iron Seas series, it is also a stand-alone. However, I would suggest reading Meljean’s FAQ page about the world. It will help fill in blanks.
***eARC courtesy of Edelweiss, Berkley, and the author