Tag Archives: review

Review: The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick


The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick

Series: The Elemental Web Chronicles

Genre: Steampunk Romance




London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.

Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.

After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?

Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.

Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.

Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.

Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.

I am always on the lookout for a decent steampunk read and The Golden Spider blurb caught my attention. What is there not to like, Victorian London, intelligent and feisty female character and a growling male?

The book can be read as a mystery with a touch of romance. The steampunk world is mostly there with krakens and dirigibles. The clockwork spider was definitely a unique piece of equipment that I haven´t come across in any other books. The London setting is well described but could have had a bit more. The plot is well developed with a few twists that keeps reading interesting. I enjoyed the main characters and secondary characters are well written that along the book you grasp the different personalities. There are no editing issues in this book that I noticed, whether typos or grammatically.

My one negative remark on this book is the medical lingo, way too much and too detailed for someone without medical background. At a certain point I started skipping the dialogue feeling utterly lost and confused with the exchanges. There is also no way to verify what the author is saying is accurate or not, well I could google it but that is not the point of reading a book.

If you like steampunk you should enjoy this book, you will probably enjoy it more if you have some medical knowledge to help you through the technical dialogue. If like me you don´t, it´s still readable .

Overall I did enjoy this book and will read book 2 in the series, The Silver Skull.


My review of The Secret (Book 3 The Irin Chronicles) by Elizabeth Hunter

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The Secret is in fact a revelation of secrets, the book that answers all those questions that I have been asking since book one, but it also opens a door to so many possibilities for future books in the Irin world, a small comfort as we say good bye to Ava and Malachi.

Like all her books, The Secret is rich and dark and seductive, a beautiful storyline and well developed characters that grow and expand and take over your existence while you lose yourself in their world. In a genre that has been explored to its limits comes along something completely new and refreshing like the Scribes, the Irina and the Grigori. Emotions were awakened with the turning of each page and as the story was told, so many unanswered questions were finally being answered and what was black and white became grey where nothing was certain until it was. Ava and Malachi´s final journey is full of turns bringing unexpected results, it is also filled with love, beauty and pain and most of all it is filled with magic.

The intentions and power struggles become clear while everything I was led to believe to this point is challenged leaving me starving for another book in this series, there are so many stories to be told, Rhys, Leo, Maxim, Renata, Kyra and I would love to see where Kostas and Sirius´ stories go. This book answers many questions but it also raises so many more, Vasu? Jasper? I love Jasper and I so hope that Elizabeth Hunter will find a place for him where he is happy.

The Secret is beautifully written, a world that invites you to turn the pages and explore the magnificent realms of fantasy with enough reality that it doesn´t leave you lost. The timeline is well defined; while there are many mysteries there is no confusion, the story is clear without giving anything away. This was a wonderful last book to their story; the story wasn´t rushed nor did it end abruptly, it was a perfect book to say farewell to this couple leaving me content with the end. I can only hope that they will at least make an appearance in other Irina Chronicle books. Elizabeth Hunter once more keeps up her trademark of quality and consistency in her writing, beautiful and enticing like the characters she creates.

Review of the The Kraken King, Part VIII: The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure (Iron Seas #4.8)

The Kraken King, Part VIII: The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure (Iron Seas, #4.8)

The Kraken King, Part VIII: The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure (Iron Seas #4.8)

by Meljean Brook (Goodreads Author)

Experience the incredible adventure and heart-stopping romance of the Iron Seas in this thrilling steampunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook.

The Kraken King, Part VIII
The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure

Arriving in Krakentown with their enemies in hot pursuit, Zenobia doesn’t know how they can even hope to win. Being terrified brings forth an undeniable truth: she loves Ariq and will do whatever it takes to stand by him.

But as their adversaries appear on the horizon, they realize that not all is lost. Drawing on the power of the terrible war machine, Ariq, Zenobia, and the entire town must put their lives on the line to protect what they love.

My review

And so arrived the dreaded last Kraken Tuesday, I delayed starting the book, stupid I know, the fact that I delay starting is not going to avoid the end, but alas the end has arrived and I have reached it. Is it unfair to say that I was expecting the excellent installment? Probably not, the author has yet to produce a book that can be called less than wonderful. It is with a mixture of happiness and sadness that I write this review. Happy that I had the opportunity to read such a great book and sadness that I am saying goodbye to the most amazing alternative world, airships and incredible cities that one could imagine, I even liked the kraken’s. The characters, well the characters, if I actually knew how to write (author writing that is) I could probably write an essay on the characters I have come across in the Iron Seas novels and the Kraken King is no exception.

Why should you read these books? Well if you like steampunk you will not be disappointed, Meljean Brook has yet to disappoint in that field, adventure.. oh there is plenty! Action? All the time! Complicated plots and political intrigue? Well, you will look around you and where ever you are will feel like you live in Switzerland. Romance? Oh hell just grab the books and read them, this is so worth every cent I paid for it.

There is a lot to say about this book, so many great characters and places. I don’t like giving away spoilers so I will just say that this was a fantastic read. And the cherry on top of the icing is that the author will finally write about the Blacksmith! I am so looking forward to that.

A review of The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls

The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls (Iron Seas, #4.6)

The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls (Iron Seas #4.6)

by Meljean Brook (Goodreads Author)

Experience the incredible adventure and heart-stopping romance of the Iron Seas in this thrilling steampunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook.

The Kraken King, Part VI
The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls

Reunited, Ariq and Zenobia must journey over the red wall and make a desperate appeal to the one woman with enough power to halt the marauders’ plans—the Empress of Nippon.

But even the Kraken King cannot demand the attentions of an empress. Masked and quarantined, Ariq and Zenobia are forced to bide their time. Despite the fact that they are as physically close as two people can be, Zenobia is trying to keep the man she can’t help but love at a distance, terrified she’ll be hurt again. And all the while, the mysteries of the Living City grow around them.

My review:

Tuesday’s, an otherwise inconsequential day in the week is now what I call the Kraken Tuesday. By now you must realise that this series is published every Tuesday and this weeks series? Wow! What to say?

Some books are difficult to review, mainly because all that you want to shout out about is a spoiler. Maybe I can mention… no not that scene, maybe the one where…… no not that one either. So basically in this review I’m not telling you squat! But I suppose I do have to write something, anything? Okay, so maybe I can tell you that I sighed a lot (enough to get hubby to glance at me sideways) and that this was the most amazingly beautiful part of the series so far. Oh myyy! The descriptions of the Red City are wonderful and Zenobia’s character, well she is just an amazing character, inspiring to real women showing us to be practical and that courage comes whether you believe you have it or not. What am I learning from this character? Embrace it, embrace it all with everything that life has to offer.
And Ariq, well I could tell you but then your reward would be lessened when you read it. But I can tell you that MB has pretty much screwed things over for men, every woman that has read this book is going to be wishing for an Ariq. Mr Darcy? Who is Mr Darcy? Who needs a Mr Darcy when you can have a Ariq instead?

Can’t say much more without giving away spoilers… so I will just say, if you are not reading this you have no idea on what you are missing.

Review of the The Kraken King Part V: The Kraken King and the Iron Heart

The Kraken King Part V: The Kraken King and the Iron Heart (Iron Seas, #4.5)

The Kraken King Part V: The Kraken King and the Iron Heart (Iron Seas #4.5)

by Meljean Brook (Goodreads Author)

The Kraken King, Part V The Kraken King and the Iron Heart

With their lives and the fate of an empire at stake, Ariq is forced to leave Zenobia behind. Held captive by their enemies, Zenobia can only pray that Ariq keeps his promise to come for her—until a terrible loss prods her to action.

Ariq has no intention of handing over the Skybreaker to the two men responsible for the marauders’ attacks against Krakentown—but without a ransom to give them, Ariq must risk everything to rescue Zenobia and stop the swarming forces bent on destruction.

My Review:
It’s bloody hard to write reviews, I’m not a writer so I’m always aware that whatever I write reflects rather poorly the author’s accomplishments. Also, I don’t want to give away spoilers and I am definitely not repeating what’s written in the blurb, for me that is just taking up space.
That said, let me start by saying that this part felt longer than the previous. I had mentioned one of the previous series had felt short, I believe that that it has all to do with content rather than word count. This series has a lot more informative dialogue, not that the other series don’t have it, but the first chapters are spent in the company of new characters and we get some insight into these characters that had only been mentioned before. There are some heartbreaking scenes and others simply beautiful.
Again Meljean Brook transports you into a magical world, and this time I was introduced to glowing jellyfish, and there is a lovely story behind the air-balloon that transports the lovers in this series.
As far as the relationship between Ariq and Zenobia goes, I suppose one could call it a romance, but I think it would be fair to instead refer to their relationship as a glorious love story in the making. The author truly creates magic as the love developing between Zenobia and Ariq is beautifully written. As Zenobia tries to push aside her emotional fears one can claim with certainty that she is definitely a fighter and Ariq could easily be every women’s dream come true (I tend to swoon when reading about him).But these two wonderful characters and their beautiful love story is not the only thing that keeps me anxiously waiting every Tuesday for the new series to be available, there is a political plot that I am curious as to how it is going to end and I am truly excited to see what happens when they reach the Red City.

Zenobia is one of the most (realistic) resourceful characters that I have ever read about and if any man did for me what Ariq did for Zenobia I would marry him on the spot.

Another great series and left with so much to look forward to.

Review of Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) by Bec McMaster


This book got a 5 star rating and as good a review as I am able on Amazon and Goodreads.

I have long ago accepted that I am awful with reviews, I never am able to express myself correctly and always pity the authors that I am not able to give them more than a few blunt sentences on what I thought of their hard work. Regardless, my inadequacy at expressing my opinion on books has in fact never stopped me from doing it anyhow.

So people, here is my first review on the blog.

This was my first attempt at reading the steampunk genre, and what a brilliant choice.

It took a few chapters to get myself settled into the story and setting, after all, this was my first attempt at the genre. The fog and footsteps on cobblestones is a good hook to ensnare you, before you realise it you are actually looking over your shoulder to see if someone is there. I apologise to my family for ignoring them today but I was fully engrossed in the story. Beautifully written with extraordinary characters and plot.

Although I have never been to London the author gave enough description that I could easily see myself walk alongside Honoria and Blade in their hunts and investigations. What a different view on the whole vampire issue, it did take me a few chapters to actually understand what the author was saying with the blue bloods and the vampires, but once I understood I was on board with the whole concept. It was amusing how Honoria initially wanted to teach Blade how to use language properly, I was tempted to do the same, but a few paragraphs further I secretly hoped she wouldn’t succeed thus stealing part of the character’s identity.

I truly am looking forward to reading Heart of Iron and have high expectations of what Bec McMaster may offer me in her next book.

BTW… great editing, what a pleasure to read a book without typos or grammar mistakes.