I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
My Rating: A, Loved it
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by publisher.
**** NOTE: This is the second part of a serialized novel; therefore, spoilers from earlier parts of the book are inherit in the review. Do not read this review if you have not read the earlier parts and do not want spoilers. ****
For frame of reference, this part starts with Chapter 4 of The Kraken King. Once again, we are treated to a letter from Zenobia to her brother, which always makes me smile. (Side note: I would love a “story” of the letters going back and forth between Zenobia and Archimedes.)
Part II picks up with Zenobia determined to get her secretly pregnant friend Helene to the Red City, and Ariq attempting to discover who is behind the marauder attacks on airships near his coast. The focus of this part is getting the group out of Krakentown and on their way to the Red City. Ariq and Zenobia strike a deal that will allow Zenobia and Helene to find a way to their destination while Ariq can search for more clues.
I LOVE this story so far. The short parts are packed full of amazing detail and vibrant action, without becoming overwhelming. Part II opens with Ariq studying the dead marauders’ bodies. His thought process in attempts to identify them is engaging. I also admire is sense of practicality when it comes to Zenobia. He wants her but knows she’s made up her mind to shut him out. He also recognizes that while he'd like to pursue her, his priorities are discovering who the marauders work for before the Nipponese empress decides to wipe out the settlements.
We learn much about Ariq’s past to include a man named Ghazan Bator, who did not help Ariq and Taka's mother once her loyalties exposed. There is bad blood between the men, but Ariq may need Bator’s help saving Krakentown. Learning some history of the rebellion and Ariq’s personal journey gives the reader insight as to why he is so suspicious about Zenobia and her urgent need to get to the Red City. His suspicions, coupled with Zenobia’s secrecy, make for some entertaining misconceptions and misunderstandings. Normally, I’m not one for purposeful confusion, but Ms. Brook creates meaningful misdirection that enhances the overall story and puts a smile on my face.
As the group makes its way to the smuggler’s dens to secure transportation for Zenobia and Helene, we learn of another fantastical creature, not yet seen in The Iron Seas series: boilerworms. Reminding me of the sand worms from Dune, giant boilerworms burrow underground and surface to devour what is in its path. The entire concluding scene when a boilerworm attacks is completely gripping. I was so engrossed with the action and on the edge of my seat - literally. And it is coupled with amazing emotional intensity as one of their own becomes trapped in the creature’s jaws. It was so well done.
The Kraken King Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm is so utterly exciting and fulfilling, gaining my interest quickly and keeping me hooked. I like this part more than the first, and it fits since a large chunk of the world-building was already established. Although this part ends with an unfinished story, it is not a cliff-hanger per se, and one can enjoy the individual tale this part tells - and I did immensely.