The Kraken King Part 2: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm (Iron Seas #4.2)
Published: April 22, 2014 (Avon)
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Note from Chelsea/VBC: The Kraken King is being published as a serial with a new part offered each week. We’re such super fans of Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series that we decided to review this as a read along. So each week you’ll get Amy’s take on the latest part and we’ll discuss it in the comments. Find Part 1‘s discussion here. It’s easy to catch up. The review and discussion below assume you’ve read Part 1.
When last we left our ‘scribbling spinster’ she was determined to get her friend Helene to the Red City on account of Helene’s, shall we say, delicate condition. The Kraken King Part 2: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm starts with Ariq deciding he needs to visit the smugglers’ den to see if he can get information about the marauders. After exhausting all other options Zenobia asks if she and her group can accompany Ariq and his to the smugglers’ den and from there get an airship to take them to Helene’s husband.
Zenobia just can’t get out of her head what Mara relayed about Ariq: He wants to learn her secrets. She was also put off by thinking Ariq may share the same sentiment as his brother; thinking Zenobia was ugly. Ariq, for his part, doesn’t know why Zenobia’s attitude towards him has suddenly changed, but just like his titular moniker, once he has something in his grasp he doesn’t let go. He figures this little journey will be the perfect opportunity to win himself back into Zenobia’s graces.
So our group is heading out on the spider-like walkers into the wilds of Australia to gain permission from the aboriginals to cross their land. Other than that the only thing they have to worry about are…. boilerworms! (My mind conjured up images of mechanical Tremors-type worms, or for those classic sci-fi fans Dune anyone?)
I liked that, in following the flow of the story, the action scenes were more toward the end of this ‘part’ with exposition at the beginning. It was a nice opposite from Part 1, which had them reversed. It was also nice to see Ariq and Zenobia not being able to stick to their guns in regards to keeping away from each other. Zenobia is still wary of The Kraken King but she can’t seem to stop looking at his mouth!
The ideas of fear and bravery were dealt with quite a bit in The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm. Helene cites Zenobia’s actions aboard the airship as though she was ‘having a picnic’, and goes further saying that Zenobia was going about the business of evacuating very calmly and when it came to jumping off the flyer she took the plunge with no hesitation. Zenobia thinks this is an incorrect assessment as she was terrified the whole time.
Likewise, in Part 2, Zenobia again doesn’t hesitate when it comes to helping out her friends when the Abominable Worm strikes, even though it could put herself at risk. In contrast, Ariq states that ‘fear has no place in battle’. Yet he expresses his fear at seeing Zenobia jump into the fight, but not of the boilerworm itself.
The ending of this week’s installment was much more intriguing than Part 1. I’ll admit, it is this moment right now that makes me wish this had been released in one volume.
I look forward to hearing what you think about Part 2. Next Up: The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den. Stay Tuned!
Sexual content: References to sex