Review: Riveted by Meljean Brook

Posted June 1, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 27 Comments

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Review: Riveted by Meljean Brook
Narrated by Alison Larkin

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: The Iron Seas #3
Genres: Steampunk Romance
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on September 17, 2012
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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The Delight

After just wrapping up Yasmeen and Archimedes story in Heart of Steel and Tethered, I was ready to press on and see what more the Iron Seas steampunk series had for me.  This time we were off to Iceland land of volcanoes, secrets, and legends of trolls and witches?  Had to see what that was about.


Riveted is book three in the series, but it is a standalone adventure and could be enjoyed separately.  I wouldn’t recommend it, though, because the overall world of this series is understood by this point so the author pretty much skims on those details to focus on this new aspect of her Iron Seas world.

The story opens with airship boiler engineer, Annika, rescued from a tough situation by volcanologist and explorer, David Kenteweiss.  David and his team are taking passage on her ship for Iceland where they are studying volcanic activity.  David also has a personal reason.  He is searching for his deceased mother’s people.  Annika is keeping a profound secret that her thoughtlessness cost her deeply for when her sister took the blame and was exiled.  Annika is a member of a remote village of women who got away from unbearable past lives now living in Iceland and perpetuating myths to keep the curious away and now David’s search and the work of another group threaten to expose the location of her home.

Naturally, this would not be an Iron Seas adventure without colorful new characters, clever steampunk gadgetry, and complex plots that provide some grand excitement and twists.  It was definitely all that especially with the first encounter with people of different backgrounds from the previous characters and the new setting.

The thing is, I should have loved this one and I did to a certain extent, but I also felt it dragged in a couple of places.  I felt like I was waiting for something to happen for the longest time.  The author used this little game between Annika and David to introduce all the ship’s crew and David’s crew while showing their budding friendship and interest.  I tried to be patient with this thinking this would be significant later.  Well, erm, it wasn’t really.
Now, what I didn’t have a lot of patience for was the author using Annika to really browbeat a point which, again, stalled out the story for me.  People should be able to love who they love without it being a crime or a social ostracism.  I didn’t mind the point being made, it was the going on and on about it.  Yep, got it the first time.  Now, can we get the story, please.

Annika was an interesting heroine.  She’s not afraid to say or think what most people keep to themselves which makes her socially awkward.  She sees herself as this little, scared rabbit and her sister as this fierce warrioress, but the hero makes it clear right away that she’s got it wrong.  She does what she has to do when the chips are down and she’s open about her sexuality which is interesting because she’s still a virgin.  She thinks she’s really this homebody who isn’t made for adventures and can’t seem to understand she’s been on one long adventure since she left home years ago to make her way out in the world while finding her exiled sister.

David was not any less interesting since he’s also somewhat awkward.  His is due to all the physical augmentation he had done to his body after surviving an explosion that killed his mother who threw herself over him to save him.  People are either revolted to look at him or be near him or pity him and in both cases, he is seen as less than a man.  Annika’s sexual attraction and frank admiration do so much for him.  He helps her realize she has strength and courage so they really bring out the best in each other.   He also makes her understand that he admires her and will help her protect her vulnerable secrets if she will just trust him.  Oh, and once they get past their issues, whew boy, were they hot stuff.

There is an external conflict that is something of a mystery at first and then is gradually revealed when the villain’s full plans come out.  I actually liked this side of the plot up until then.  It lost a lot of its menace when I got the who and the why though was still dangerous for the heroes.  There was a few interesting surprises there and a sociopathic villain makes for a great antagonist.

I picked this one up on audio and have enjoyed Alison Larkin’s work before.  She did a great job with this story.  She gives a whimsy and an engaging quality to the story above and beyond the author’s writing that only one or two other narrators have done.  I was captivated by her accents and ability to do both genders and several voices.  She reads more than acts, but does it in a way that I still got the full impact of the audio experience of the book.

All in all, I was glad to get this latest Iron Seas adventure and love that the author takes this series all over the world with its airships, steam-powered contraptions, inventions, and alternate histories.  Definitely one of the best steampunk romance series I’ve read and I’m pressing on for more.


Romance Roundabout #189 SP
Audio #39


Review Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden 

About Meljean Brook

Book info: I am the author of the Iron Seas steampunk romance series. I’ve written a guide to the world (including a map) on my website.

I also write a paranormal romance series, the Guardians. That series guide is also on my website, including a “The Story So Far” feature, which allows you to catch up on all of the books that previously released in the series if you start after the first installment.

Goodreads info: I am slowly, slowly adding to my shelves and reviews. It’s unlikely that I will join many book discussions (especially of my own work) simply because I don’t want to stifle reader conversation.

Bio: Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing–and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.

Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Jenea Whittington
3 years ago

It does sound like a good one, but i understand have some issue with the relationship between Annika and David. Great review.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, it was good so far as it went, but it slogged along at first. 🙂

3 years ago

I haven’t read any steampunk before but I’ve been meaning to for so long! This series looks good Sophia Rose. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

There is so much going on, Vanessa. And she writes a great action plot to go with it. Hope you get the chance. 🙂

3 years ago

One day I’ll read them but I think I only have book 1 and 2. One day!!!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Haha! Yes, one day. I say that a lot. Neat that you already have the first two.

Nadene@Ttly addicted 2 reading

I have not read any steampunk, I do want to try it though. Your review has made me curious about this series.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh good! Glad to tug at your curiosity, Nadene. 🙂 Steampunk is a fun sub-genre.

3 years ago

I’m glad you made it through though it seems the pace was a bit slow due to the repetitiveness. I had to DNF one yesterday because the author did the same exact thing, not with one but both characters, I wanted to slap them silly.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Evie

Yes!!!! So frustrating. Bummer you had to toss it aside, but sanity demands it sometimes. 🙂

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

God, I hate when books drag. I mean I really hate it. I totally get world building but ughhh why be overly descriptive if there is no point. I have found quite a few authors lately that have done that and it really is begining to irk me. Great review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I’m with you, Mary. That game they played to introduce everyone took over an hour on the audiobook and I was not impressed. 🙂

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

I love the different settings and it sounds like it has so many elements I love in the genre. Too bad it dragged that had to be frustrating.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

She takes these stories over a large part of the world- Europe, North Africa, UK, America, middle of the ocean, and now Iceland. I understand the last book is down around Australia.

Yeah, I was so tempted to fast forward the story, but there is intrigue in these so I didn’t want to miss something important. 🙂

Carole's Random Life
3 years ago

I have not read this author yet and have only read a very small amount of steampunk. This sounds like an interesting series and I am glad you enjoyed it despit having a few issues.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

If you want to get a feel for steampunk romance from one of the best, you might try this series.
Even with the dragging places, this was still a good one. My favorite will probably remain book two. 🙂

vvb reads
3 years ago

Oh, I need to go on a steampunk binge soon. Glad to hear this one is just as good.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  vvb reads

Yes! This has been a great series to feed my steampunk needs lately. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

I still haven’t read a steampunk romance yet. One of these days I will. The guy on the cover reminds me of Keanu Reeves.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, I think you would love some of them especially the paranormal steampunk romance.
Ha! He does. Good catch, Mary! 🙂

3 years ago

This sounds like an interesting world with the steampunk elements and romance. I haven’t read as many steampunk books. Too bad it was a bit slow in parts and that point was made a few times too often. The characters do sound like interesting characters to read about.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Lola

It really is. She is so creative with how this steampunk world is developed as an alternate history and characters from lots of ethnic groups.
I still loved this one just not as much as the earlier ones b/c of the slow parts.

3 years ago

I read the first book but haven’t gotten to the others yet. (I feel like I say this in every one of your posts bahahah!)

I love that cover too.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Karen

No sweat! Its what you’re thinking and hey, at least you didn’t say I was a nag about getting you to read them. LOL

3 years ago

I haven’t heard of this series or this author but I love steam punk! I need to check out some steam punk romances… They’d be right up my street 🙂