Read This F@!%ing Book!
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This week's post comes from our very own:
This week's post comes from our very own:
Read This F@!%ing Book Post 30: The Iron Seas Series by Meljean Brook
History of the World Part 1:
This series probably has the most complex history of any Steampunk series I've read, though it's pretty easy to see how it grew from real world history. It's hard to summarize succinctly but I'm going to give it a shot. The Mongol Horde ruled by Genghis Khan had some pretty advanced technology. His descendants used giant machines to advance westward and conquer most of Europe and Asia.
In the areas they conquered, they infected the population with nanoagents which allow them to be stronger and faster than the uninfected. But they also allowed the Horde to control the occupied people. Ahead of their invasion, the Horde also unleashed zombies that devastated the population. Much of Europe and Africa is still overrun by zombies but otherwise uninhabited. (One of my favorite moments in Heart of Steel is when the hero and heroine run back to their airship chased by a pack of zombies.) The zombies cannot cross the ocean, so much of the world's population fled to islands like England and Australia or to the Americas.
Now the Horde's influence is beginning to fade. England has recently been freed from their rule and people are starting to return from the New World. Rebels and pirates are becoming upstanding members of society as the need for resistance ends. And other governments are looking for ways to fill the power vacuum. Each book in the series features a different part of the world - England, continental Europe, Iceland and Australia - though the characters all travel extensively as well. Each time readers get to experience a different culture and a different perspective on the world's politics. I love political intrigue, especially in Steampunk, and the Iron Seas books really deliver it.
Go Go Gadget . . . Kraken:
My favorite thing about Steampunk is the fantastic gadgets and this series has THE BEST ONES! From the nanoagents to giant war machines and everything in between. There are mechanical trolls that guard the coast of Iceland and giant crabs that walk across Australia. There are all kinds of people with mechanical limbs, some almost indistinguishable from the real thing and some horrifically utilitarian. The same technology which created the mechanical flesh for the prosthetics also spawned krakens and megalodons, sea creatures that are part animal and part machine. And of course there are dirigibles, which are my absolute favorite, and they're in every book.
I almost forgot. It's a romance!
The melting pot that this world has become, along with the political upheaval in the former Horde territories, creates some fascinating characters. This series features a rebel, a pirate, an adventurer, a scientist, a detective and a writer. Each couple overcomes some cultural differences, coming form different parts of this incredible world. Most of them have some physical differences as well, having mechanical legs or being infected with nanos. They thwart world leaders, mad scientists and (of course) zombies to be together. Their adventures are epic and their chemistry sizzling.
The books vary in tone from the fun adventure of Heart of Steel, with its snarky hero and the woman who might just as easily kiss him as kill him, to the emotional epic of The Kraken King where the fate of the world rests on the hero's shoulders. I just read this series for the first time, but it's already one of my favorites.
This series is a must-read for fans of Steampunk!
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