Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Alphabet Soup Challenge: Meljean Brook - The Kraken King

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…
After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.
But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

Comment: Another book for the alphabet challenge, where we match the letters of the alphabet with titles from books we read. This time it's the letter K.

I'm a fan of this series and I was really glad this book finally came out complete. This story was first released as a serial, but I don't think I could enjoy it that much on that format, so I waited even more to have everything completed and then I'd read it. As soon as I saw the complete edition available, I bought it and I finally found the time to read it, and it was worth the wait.

This is Zenobia's story. She's the sister of Archimedes, from book #2. She is a writer that, based on her brother's adventures, managed to create a hero and stories that sell quite well. However, people interested in money and getting her brother would kidnap her, which isn't something Zenobia liked, despite her hunger for adventure. When the opportunity arises for her to travel to Australia as a company to a friend, she doesn't think twice.
Things don't go well until the end and on the way Zenobia meets the famous Kraken King, a man her brother knew was relentless. But Zenobia only sees a man, someone interesting, fascinating...

The book is quite big because it has all the serial installments into one volume. I don't mind it and I think that, those who read it in the serial format had to have a great willpower not to despair for the next one because some chapters ended on almost cliffhanger moments. In terms of plot, I can't find it faulty because the author's imagination, ideas and skill are there for everyone to see and marvel how someone can think of so many details and elements to create a whole world, but so different from what we know.

The plot is actually easy to follow, but it's one of those cases that, having read the previous books would give the reader a certain background knowledge that explains many little things, in particular character related. This doesn't mean a new reader won't get the plot, but I think it's much better savored if there's a previous knowledge. So, the plot follows Zenobia as she ravels with her friend Helene to Australia and on the way their airship is attacked, everyone has to flee and the rescue is done by the Kraken King. Of course, nothing is as simple as that and on the way to safety they all meet dangers and challenges and once again we can marvel at the author's imagination in creating things so unique, it's amazing.

The plot focuses on a lot of things, namely what it means to everyone why some happenings take place. This allows us to see into most of the character's personalities, their motivations, ways of thinking, honor and inner character. I think it's a clever and witty way of showing character depth and development. The romance is included on this growing up, because the main couple has to deal with their own issues on it and what it means to those around them. I think this romance is a study on personal and group opinions mattering to one's happiness. Thankfully, all ends well.

I liked this book. I had a good time with it and it was quite balanced. I liked seeing the characters' interaction, even when things seemed to go a hard path. But all in all, this was a great voyage, the writing was easy and had many moments where the characters would think about what was happening and this allows the reader to compare things within the plot, which adds another layer of understanding to some scenes. I liked it.

All in all, another great installment. I'm a fan of this steampunk series and I can't wait for the next one, which I hope ms Brook won't take too long in writing and publishing.
Grade: 8/10

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