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The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas)

The Iron Duke -  Meljean Brook [b:The Iron Duke|7864587|The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1)|Meljean Brook|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51l0ptCLdOL._SL75_.jpg|11022865] is an immensely entertaining read. The world building was fantastic an was by far my favorite aspect about the book. The Horde is this feared race that has oppressed England and infected portions of the population with nanobugs in order to control them by radio frequency. The Hoard is technologically advanced and they brought an amazing number of cool gizmos: airships, mechanical body parts and attachments, wind-up clockwork devices, etc. This world is absolutely amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book which describes a lot of the environment.

The main female character Wilhelmina, or Mina to her friends and family, is a wonderful character. She is complicated, independent and humorous. She has a kind and caring nature that is often glimpsed behind the mask she wears in public. The supporting characters are interesting enough, but none captured my attention as much as Mina.

This leads to one of my issues with the book; the Iron duke himself, Rhys. I found his character confusing. At times he is an interesting and sensitive character but those moments are overshadowed by his arrogant and dominate behavior to “possess” and “control” everything, including Mina. At times I was uncomfortable with his actions towards Mina. I felt that the author didn’t give their relationship time to grow; instead I felt it was forced upon me and what drove Rhys’s actions were never explained.

Another issue I had with the book was the story development. The first half of the book is more urban fantasy, while the second have is more an explicit (erotic) romance. So the book felt disjointed and a bit confusing to me. The book is listed as a romance, but after reading what I would consider UF for a couple of hundred pages, I was a bit thrown and getting thrust into an erotic romance.

Overall this is a great book though. The world building, action scenes and (most of) the characters create an amazing world I would like to discover more of. I would have given this a 5 star rating if the Duke need to possess and dominate everything had been better explained and there were a bit less romance in it.