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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook

Title: Here There Be Monsters (Burning Up anthology)
Author: Meljean Brook
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 08/03/10
Bring these four authors together and it's sure to ignite a spark...

Angela Knight pairs a vampire warrior and his seductive captor in a battle against demonic predators.

Nalini Singh returns to the world of her Psy-Changeling series as a woman in lethal danger finds an unlikely protector -- and lover.

Virginia Kantra continues the haunting tales of the Children of the Sea in her story of a wounded soldier rescued by an enigmatic young woman.

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series about a woman who strikes a provocative -- and terrifying -- bargain for freedom.

Plot: 4.5 Stars
I haven't read too much steampunk and am fairly new, so I was pleasantly surprised by this novella. I didn't really think steampunk and romance would mix together all that well, but I was so wrong. I also didn't think such a small amount of words could describe such a fantastic and intricate world. There were some details about the steampunk world that the author developed that could've been explained a bit better, but I'm sure the upcoming novel, The Iron Duke, will go further into detail about these things and be even better.

Pace: 4 Stars
Normally, I don't really enjoy the short stories and novellas in these anthologies because they often feel rushed or lack a lot of detail. But this story had everything. It sucked me in within only a few pages and didn't let go. The author has an attention to detail that really adds to the richness of the story and made this a truly enjoyable read.

Characters: 4 Stars
Ivy was a very strong female lead in this novella. I really enjoyed that not only did she have a very masculine occupation as a blacksmith, but that she excelled in her profession. Her inner conflict throughout the story was very genuine, and she came across as a very likeable character. Mad Machen was a very intimidating pirate captain, with an even more intimidating reputation. But what I liked about him the most was how patient he was with Ivy. Although they are very different, the two make a very interesting pair.

Cover: 3 Stars
While there's nothing wrong with this cover, it seemed a little generic: a shirtless male cover model with tribal tattoos. I only read one of the four stories within this anthology, so I can only speak for this story, but the cover didn't fit. There was no sort of steampunk element at all. Even the font choices were generic. But the reddish color of the background fit the feel of this story, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Overall: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.


  1. super! glad to hear you liked this one. thanks for sending me your review and for participating in the Iron Seas series challenge.

  2. I loved this novella, too. I was amazed by how quickly Meljean brought us into the Iron Seas 'world.' Great story-telling! And I agree with you on the cover...very 'meh.' Too bad. But at least we have The Iron Duke to look forward to! Nice review, by the way. *grin*


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