Novella Review: Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brooks

I originally purchased this book because it included a short story by Nalini Singh. The anthology included a few bonuses. I’d wanted to read an Angela Knight and Meljean Brook novel for quite some time. Well, I haven’t read Ms. Singh’s novel yet. But her novella will come soon enough. 🙂

I have a horrible memory; I really should write stuff down. Well, a few months ago I asked for recommendations for a steampunk novel. And someone asked if I’d read Ms. Brook’s steampunk in Burning Up. Wasn’t I lucky to have already purchased it. I finally got around to reading it. So the blurb from Ms. Brook’s Website:

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series as a desperate woman strikes a provocative — and terrifying — bargain to gain overseas passage.

The first thing which stood out about Here There Be Monsters was the writing. The smallest name and at the bottom of the list. I’d expect it to be the worst story of the bunch, but the writing was excellent. If this is the bottom of the barrel, I can only imagine the rest of the stories will blow my mind.

So my first steampunk novel: what did I think? Well it wasn’t so much different from other romances. If it didn’t have the artificial limbs, airships, and mechanical gadgets, I’d say it was just another pirate story. In fact, the steampunk portions seemed more of a flavor than anything. Not really important to the overall theme. My first impression of steampunk is I can take it or leave it. 🙂 Still, it did pique my interest in terms of pirate novels.

I’m afraid I didn’t take too many notes with this read. The stakes were set early. And the pacing was great. 🙂 Ivy and Eben were strong characters who I could really root for. The only thing I didn’t understand was Eben’s infatuation with Ivy. It wasn’t something which grew. Eben seemed obsessed with Ivy straight from the beginning with no insight into why. I’d hope it’d come to light at the end of the story, but no explanation was given, making it the weakest element of the plot.

I had so much fun with Ms. Brook’s novel, I’m definitely looking forward to reading the Iron Duke.

Available at Barnes & Nobles || Amazon || The Book Depository || Kobo || iTunes

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