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BookChat: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

The Iron DukeThe Iron Duke by Meljean Brook has captured the attention of thousands of readers. We are big fans of this book here at Dear Author but don’t just take our word for it. 387 Goodreads readers have given the book an average of 4.40 stars and it is a nominee for the best paranormal romance at Goodreads in 2010. Over 55 reviewers at Amazon have rated the book an average of 4.5 stars.

Around the blogosphere, you can read any number of reviews. From Hilcia at Impressions of a Reader:

I loved The Iron Duke. It’s a fast paced adventure with intrigue and excellent worldbuilding. I loved all the characters, both central and secondary — heroes and villains — the steampunk details and atmosphere.

Kristin at Nocturnal Bites:

Up until a few weeks ago, if you told me I would be knee-deep and utterly enthralled in a “Steam Punk” book I probably would have laughed out loud and declared on the spot where my reading loyalties lie. I’m a Vampires, shape-shifters, demons, etc. kinda gal. I’ll even stretch for a fallen angel here and there, although he better be bad arse or forget it!!

and while this isn’t the most positive review of The Iron Duke, I thought it was a great one nonetheless by Byrt at BookYurt:

Meanwhile, there are AMAZING ideas cluttering up the background of this story and it is painful to watch them be passed by in favor of the romance. The social tensions between the people who survived the Mongol occupation and those who fled and have now returned (i.e. those who have nanites in their blood and those who don't); the mysterious Blacksmith who can create living metal; the actual plot behind the murders; the Duke's history as a slave; how Mina's wonderful relationship with her adoptive father came about when her parents were initially so disgusted by the sight of her; how she can possibly get her job done when she's spit on by just about everyone she sees; the fear of a weapon that could control everyone who has nanotechnology in their blood (a second coming of the nightmare of Horde control); whatever happened to the Horde and why they haven't tried to take over Britain again; the emotional damage to those who were puppets under the Horder's control – I absolutely loved all of this, and it is all glossed over and rushed past in favor of Mina's utterly stereotypical romance. ARGH.

I think the BookYurt points out that there is a lot for us to be talking about in regards to The Iron Duke and I invite you to join the bookchat to begin at 8 PM CST tonight. Meljean Brook will join us at 9 PM CST so that the readers can chat about the book and say anything we like without the author looking over our shoulder. Come and let’s discuss.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tweets that mention BookChat: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook | Dear Author --
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 17:44:09

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jillmyles. jillmyles said: Tonight at 9EST ! RT @dearauthor: NewPost: BookChat: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook […]

  2. TKF
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 19:53:06

    Started this yesterday. The first chapter was REALLY hard to get through (very clunky world-building). I almost set it aside a couple of times. I certainly wouldn’t have bought it based on the first few chapters, but all the buzz has me curious.

    The way she uses real people/families, but in strange, historically inaccurate ways, is especially hard to follow (i.e. the whole Devonshire House being restored by Hartington, which is the courtesy title for the heir of the Duke of Devonshire, but no mention is made of the father; very confusing).

    So far, I’d have to say that Alison Sinclair’s Darkborn and Lightborn are far better steampunk paranormals. I’m really looking forward to the next one, Shaddowborn.

  3. library addict
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 22:45:44

    Thanks Jane and Meljean. I missed the beginning of the chat, so just lurked for the last part. Will go back and read it all now.

  4. Nialla
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 23:05:20

    I have to agree with the review from Byrt at BookYurt.

    I was much more interested in the world building instead of a romance that seemed rather forced in more ways than one.

    It felt like there had to be a romance to get the paranormal romance moniker, so one was put in even though the story was overloaded already, but I also felt a bit squicked over the hero’s “I will have you whether you want it or not” attitude. I had bad flashbacks to 1980s era “forced seduction” storylines and ended up skipping most of the sex scenes.

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