So yes, it’s true. I have read another lady romance novel. Damn you, Felicia Day!
Heart of Steel is a follow-up to The Iron Duke, however it’s not an exact continuation. This time we get to follow the adventure of two characters from the first book who vastly out-shone our previous protagonists. Archemedes Fox, the famous adventurer, returns in pursuit of two things: the lost artifacts of Leonardo Da Vinci and Yasmeen, the bad ass captain of the airship Lady Corsair.
Though I really enjoyed the first book, the only reason I chose to continue the series was because I found out Mina and Rhys, the characters of focus in Iron Duke, weren’t featured in this story whatsoever. It’s not that I didn’t like them, I just didn’t find anything all too endearing about either of them. It was Yasmeen that I fell in love with, so I jumped at the chance to read more about her. (Still waiting for a whole book about Scarsdale.)
There’s plenty of adventure going on in Heart of Steel and it (fortunately) doesn’t get too ridiculous with the sex. In fact, physical elements take a backseat to actual character development. Shock!
The plot gets a bit muddy halfway through, and for a while I wasn’t sure who the hell the antagonist was or what their goal was. It was pretty circuitous, if you ask me. In fact, the whole murderous plot seems to wrap itself up neatly in the last two chapters. I’m noticing a trend in Meljean Brook’s writing when it comes to that. Though thankfully there are no blatant (near-literal) deus ex machina saving the day this time around.
If you’re a steampunk fan or new to the genre, this is shaping up to be a great series to get involved in. Especially since there are two novellas and a third entry on the way. It’s definitely a 3.5 for me, as I enjoyed it far more than Iron Duke.
HURRY UP WITH MORE SCARSDALE, MELJEAN!