My Rating: 5 stars: Personal favorite - a must read (A+)
Full Review here: http://www.twimom227.com/2012/08/review-riveted-by-meljean-brook.html
Although Riveted is the third book in the Iron Seas series, it is a completely stand alone story. The only knowledge you need from the prior books is the history of Ms. Brook's world - one where the Horde (Khan's) invaded much of Europe and Africa, infecting the people with nanoagents and ruling for a long time. However, she explains much of the basics along the way, so newcomers can jump right in. You can also check out Ms. Brook’s Iron Seas Primer on her website.
The story follows Annika Fridasdottor and her journey to find her sister, Källa. Annika left her small, isolated (and completely hidden from the outside world) settlement to travel the New World as an engineer on an airship, and for four years, she was unsuccessful in her quest. It was fate that brought David Kentewess into her life. David, a vulcanologist headed to iceland aboard Annika's ship, is searching for the small village his mother hailed from so that he can fulfill her dying wish. It doesn't take long for David and Annika to realize his mother is from the same place as Annika.
First, a bit about our main couple. Annika is a kick-butt heroine in her own quiet, subdued way - although she would disagree that she is even a heroine. She is fiercely loyal, smart and unique. She feels a fast rapport with David, who is a bit of a loner himself. David’s mother and several of his father’s native people were killed in a huge accident caused by inventor Paolo di Fiore. David himself was grossly disfigured, losing two legs, a hand and one of his eyes. Although he has supplemented his losses with nanoagents and prosthetics, he is regarded by most in the New World as a monster.
There are so many layers in this story. The first as mentioned, is Annika’s search for her sister. The next involves David’s wish to find his mother's home and Annika's opposing desire to keep her village hidden and protected. David’s unquenchable need to locate this mysterious village is what first brings him to Annika. After unsuccessfully attempting to garner any information about Annika’s home, he lays his cards on the table. It was because of his abruptness and honesty, followed by a genuine apology, that allows Annika to trust David. This is a perfect example of how the pair breaks through protocol and expectations to reconcile, thus creating a stronger bond.
Another layer of the story revolves around the di Fiore family - Paolo, a father whose visions and ideas rival those of DaVinci, and Lorenzo, the psychotic son willing to do anything to make his father's wishes come true. Early on, David has a run in with Lorenzo, who attempts to hire David for his father’s latest project. Although David turns down the offer, it’s not the last we see of Lorenzo. This part of the story caused a bit of nail biting for me, but kept me glued to the pages--eager to find out how David and Annika would right the wrongs occurring around them.
Although the storytelling and intricately woven plots make this book well worth the read, it is the powerful emotions the story stirs that make it a favorite. Time and time again - scene after scene - I was absolutely blown away by the intensity and genuine honesty of raw emotions aroused within myself. First, there is the innocent desire that two lonely people feel for one another. It is sweet and even slightly erotic. Ms. Brook brought the lust to a slow, simmering boil that eventually exploded on the pages.
Riveted is a love story at its core. The love of a man and woman, the love of a person for his/her family, the love for life, the love of home. All of these are so wonderfully detailed and described. The story warmed me from the inside out and I know it will stick with me for a long while.
So I’ll just conclude with WOW! What an absolutely wonderful book. Like I said before, I cannot put into words how lovely Ms. Brook’s writing truly is. Her world-building skills and ability to detail the scene without overburdening the reader is superb. The multifaceted story lines are interesting and captivating. But it’s the characters and their journeys that will keep you thinking about the book long after you’ve put it down.