Monday, April 29, 2013

Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster + giveaway!

Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 448 pages
Genre: Steampunk romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release date: May 7, 2013

Series: London Steampunk #2

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

In the mist-shrouded streets of London’s dreaded Whitechapel district, werewolves, vampires and a clockwork army are one step away from battle…

Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London's vicious elite—not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can't twist around her little finger.

Will Carver, is more than man, he's a verwolfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she's in a world of trouble. To protect her, he'll have to seduce the truth from her before it's too late.

Readers who enjoyed Bec McMaster's debut can raise their expectations because HEART OF IRON is even better than its predecessor. I really liked McMaster's debut but I found myself completely absorbed by the rollercoaster of emotion and action that is HEART OF IRON. (For an introduction to the series, I'd suggest checking out my post on KISS OF STEEL.)

The main characters in HEART OF IRON were introduced in KISS OF STEEL. Lena is Honoria's sister and Will is Blade's lieutenant. I was quite fond of these characters in the first London Steampunk novel so I was thrilled to see them front and centre in this novel. (Fans of KISS OF STEEL's Honoria and Blade will enjoy a glimpse into their lives post-HEA since they are featured in HEART OF IRON (but not in a gratuitous way).) Lena and Will had something of an instant attraction when they met but Lena has since left Whitechapel and Will has moved out on his own as well, leaving Blade and Honoria to themselves. He still works for Blade but their bond isn't as easy as it used to be. They're both strong-willed, opinionated characters devoted to their friends and family, and it was great fun watching them come together romantically.

Will has a really unique position in the series. He's the only verwulfen in London, since the blue bloods (vampire-type aristocrats) kill verwulfen on site. (He's safe in Whitechapel since it's Blade's domain but he's in danger every time he leaves.) He's given a brief reprieve, though, because the blue bloods need him to help them negotiate a treaty with the verwulfen populations from other parts of Europe. At the same time, Lena has been living in high society, working as a spy and courier for the humanist movement, a group that is rebelling against blue blood rule. Of course, it wouldn't be any fun if their two missions didn't bump into each other and boy do they collide! The plotting and pace in HEART OF IRON is truly outstanding and I needed to find out how this tangled plot would be resolved.

The introduction of other verwulfen really opens up the world of the London Steampunk series. Where KISS OF STEEL explored blue bloods and vampires, KISS OF IRON shows us more about verwulfen and their place in society. We also get to learn how verwulfen come to be and how their societies work, which I found quite interesting. The foregrounding of the humanist movement also added to the depth and breadth of McMaster's worldbuilding, and really fleshed out the setting.

Once again, though, I did have some issues with the use of dialect. Dialogue that's written in dialect is not my favourite thing, though I understand that McMaster uses it to highlight class differences. As I said when discussing KISS OF STEEL, it may not bother other people but it's something I'm hyperaware of in books, movies, TV, you name it. =)

HEART OF IRON is an engrossing, thrilling sequel to KISS OF STEEL. If you liked KISS OF STEEL, you'll love HEART OF IRON because it has all of the elements that made KISS OF STEEL a strong debut, with even more worldbuilding, intrigue, and steam.

Read an excerpt

---------------------------------

giveaway

The lovely folks at Sourcebooks Casablanca are kindly offering one (1) copy of KISS OF STEEL (the first book in the series) to a lucky reader!

US/Canada only

To enter the giveaway, listen to the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn

Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

14 People left their mark' :

  1. I want to try a Steampunk romance!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kiss of Steel was really great! I highly recommend it, although, it's more steampunk lite.
    I can't wait to read about the verwulfen! I LOVE saying that word :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like a really good book and I've never read a steampunk romance.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds very good, thanks for the review! I think Steampunk has some of the best covers out there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I haven't read this authors work before and would like to read this book.
    Rhanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been wanting to try out Steampunk.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love steampunk and Kiss of Steel has been on my wish list for far to long. Awesome giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I haven't read this yet and getting KISS OF STEEL would set me on course ;). Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Paranormal, Romance, AND Steampunk... it's a 3-for-1 to me. The London Steampunk sounds like a perfect match to feed my addiction to series. Plus, I've been dying for a more up close and personal with Blade ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would love to read more steampunk romance. Love that it's also paranormal.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would like to read it because I have never read a Steampunk novel. It sounds good.
    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have yet to read a Steampunk novel! I need to fix that asap :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I LIKE BOOKS ABOUT STRONG WOMEN AND LENA SOUNDS LIKE A STRONG WOMEN

    ReplyDelete