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Iron Duke, The (Novel of the Iron Seas) Paperback – 25 Nov 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: BERKLEY - US (25 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425236676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236673
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,240,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I can't resist a book by Meljean Brook! -- Gena Showalter Page-turning romance Publisher's Weekly Brilliant, heartbreaking, genre-bending - even, I dare say, epic -- Marjorie M. Liu --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting, banking, and a (very) brief teaching career before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing--and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My first encounter with the author Meljean Brook came about in the anthology Burning Up (Berkley Sensation) where I read the story written by her which placed characters in this alternative reality. I was definitely intrigued and planned to check out this particular novel once it was released. I'm glad I did.

This book takes place in such a different world that many readers will be like me and not have encountered it before. Nanoagents were introduced into the human body when the people ingested sugar or tea. Once infected the "bugs" were in place to allow the Horde to control most of the population. Many upper class Englishmen escaped to the New World, but now that the Horde control has been destroyed they are making their way back to an England populated by many different kinds of people. Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth was conceived when her mother was caught up in a Horde frenzy and thus Mina shows her obvious Horde lineage. Because of this she must try to do her job while being hated and persecuted because of the way she looks. Rhys Trahaearn is a scoundrel and pirate who has recently been made Duke of Anglesey as a reward for destroying the method the Horde was using to control the nanoagents. When the body of a partially frozen dead man is discovered on the steps of the Duke's home, police intervention is called for. Although certainly not by the Duke.

If you decide to read this book I would suggest that you pay very close attention to the first three or four chapters, since this is where so much of the explanation for this world is given. Not all of it, but an awful lot.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike the other two reviewers, I bought this book primarily for its steampunk credentials, a genre I am really beginning to get into at the moment, and was actually pleasantly surprised by how interesting the steampunk world was. At first glance, Meljean Brooks has created an alternate Victorianesque London, albeit without Victoria on the throne, but the backstory of her world is much more intriguing than that, and it is in the historical details that Brooks really shines, such as her inclusion of Marco Polo's trip to visit the lands of Kubilai Khan, something which happened in reality, only without nanoagents.

The Horde, recognisable, if you know your history, as the Mongolian Empire of the Khan's (only lasting a few more centuries) kidnapped a group of European scientists, centuries ago, and forced them to make war machines, including the nanoagents that many people are 'infected' with. These left British society under radio control, where religion, marriage, and many other conventions were completely dispensed with, creating a moral vacuum when Horde control was destroyed by Rhys Trevelyan, the eponymous 'Iron Duke', nearly a decade ago. The attempts of the people left behind to rebuild their society from the ground up are what makes this book so interesting for me, and will keep me reading the series in all probability.

The plot of this first 'Novel of the Iron Seas' begins with a body landing on the Iron Duke's doorstep, bringing the heroine, Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into Rhys's life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very disappointing book. The steampunk elements are very well written, although it's very confusing when there is no real distinction between airships and ocean ships, for a while I flicked back and forth and gave up instead. But many of the cultural elements are interesting. There seemed to be very little actual explanation of the Horde - perhaps this is being saved for follow-on books, however I certainly won't be reading any more.
The reason? The two main characters - Mina gives every appearance of being a 'strong' female character, and yet, it would seem, what the author thinks this type of woman *really* needs is to be raped. Repeatedly. Rhys the pirate sees her as his property (despite his oh-so-tragic backstory) and focuses his every effort on bending her to his will. Once he has 'broken' her, then he's fine with her getting her own way some of the time. But essentially she is overcome by her terrible lust for him and he merrily takes advantage in every way. He is temporarily upset when he realises that he has crossed deep, personal boundaries and violated her trust in him, but it doesn't last long. Even after a lengthy separation, all it takes for him to reestablish their relationship is another quick rape. Not even a marriage proposal - although it seems that's good enough for Mina (what? seriously?)
Overall it's a real shame, but I put it down feeling ill. It's like retro porn where no doesn't really mean no, and can be an enthusiastic yes if only the man can force her - sickening.
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