Review & Discussion: The Kraken King Part 1 by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.1)


The Kraken King Part I by Meljean BrookThe Kraken King Part 1: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (Iron Seas #4.1)
Meljean Brook
Published: April 15, 2014 (Avon)
Purchase: Amazon
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. Hope you’ll join us!

Zenobia Fox has always lived vicariously, at first through her brother Archimedes Fox, and now through her sister-in-law Lady Corsair, as she weaves the tales of their adventures for publication. When a childhood friends asks Zenobia to accompany her to Australia to meet up with her husband, Zenobia immediately says yes.

The ‘adventure’ is not exactly what she pictured in her head, consisting mostly of sitting on the airship and talking with her friend Helene, all while hiding the fact that she’s Zenobia Fox, writer of fantastic tales. When marauders attack their ship, Zenobia is rescued by the Kraken King himself. She didn’t expect him to be so good-looking.

Ariq, the aforementioned Kraken King, has been dealing with the marauders attacking random airships for weeks. There’s no connection that he can find. When he rescues a mysterious woman from drowning after the ship she was sailing on was attacked, he can’t help but think she may be more than just traveling with a friend. He’s definitely interested in figuring out her secrets.

Being the first entry, I’d have to say, so far, this is successful. There’s a great balance of action and comedy as well as tension between our main characters and it is achieved in rather short amount of time, but nothing is lacking. Except for the ending (which leaves off just when the main adventure is ready to get underway, of course), the rest of the story stands very well on its own.

We feel the attraction between Ariq and Zenobia from their first meeting, but it appears these two will have things to work out between them before they can settle down. Ariq and Zenobia are both two individuals who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions, but it appears, at least when it comes to this romance, they can’t seem to get the right words out, which leads to a few misconceptions, which will be fun to decipher as the different parts are released.


  1. What do you think about authors releasing their full-length stories as serials? Do you enjoy reading a little at a time (ahem maybe during lunch at work)? Or do you dislike the waiting between parts?
  2. How long do you think it will take Zenobia and Ariq to work through all their misconceptions of each other?
  3. Based on this first impression of the book, what adventure(s) do you think await Zenobia? Do you think we can expect an appearance from a certain brother and his wife?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Tune in next week when we read and discuss Part Two: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm.

Sexual content: References to sex

8 Responses to “Review & Discussion: The Kraken King Part 1 by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #4.1)”

  1. Robin says:

    I love Brook’s books but I won’t buy these unless they are put out in one book format. I don’t like this trend at all. I want the book, the whole book in one shot.

    • Amy says:

      I do believe these are going to eventually be released as one book. I don’t know when, but I understand your feelings on this. I do like being able to read a book beginning to end on my time with no interruptions.

      On the other hand, I kind of like being able to read a book in parts. I can read it in between other books and can probably get it finished in a couple hours at most. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find time to be able to just sit and read the whole day away (I miss that sometimes) so to have the “adventures” cut down it kind of nice.

  2. Sara says:

    I don’t mind the serial format, but I do mind the price. I like how Ilona Andrews did her serial where it is offered free on her website, then I purchased it when it was completed and edited. I understand wanting to charge the reader, but at $2 a serial and 8 parts, that’s $16, which is way more than a paperback. I like the idea, but I would rather wait until its complete, that way I can blow through it in 2 days.

    And since I’m waiting until its complete, I unfortunately don’t have answers to questions 2 & 3.

    • Amy says:

      I also read Ilona Andrews’ serial and I guess the difference being with that one is, at the point where they post it on their website, there’s been no formal editing or anything like that whereas with The Kraken King each part has gone through the editing process and each even has their own cover art so I kinda get the $2 price. That being said, it does add up.

      So far, The Kraken King is really good and lives up to the standards of the rest of the books in the series. I hope you’ll read it when it’s released all together (which I’m most positive is going to happen)

    • Just adding a quick note that the Iron Seas books were published as trade paperbacks at $15 price point. So it comes out about the same. Like an installment plan. LOL

      I’m not a big fan of serials, but for Meljean? Oh yeah. I’m in.

      • Amy says:

        Another thing about this serial that I like in particular is it fits so very well with Zenobia’s character. She writes stories of Arcimedes and Yasmeen’s adventures. And now it’s almost like we’re reading what she would write of her own adventure.

  3. Jill says:

    1. I haaaaate waiting! I hated waiting the time between full length novels. I hate waiting for episodes to air, so I wait until they’re all on netflix and I can watch the whole season at once.
    2. I feel like Ariq has a really accurate first impression of Zenobia. He saw that she was strong, smart, and curious very quickly. I dont think that Zenobia has an impression of Ariq other than he’s super hot =p and he ticked her off there at the end.
    3. I want to know what’s going to happen to Helene, and poor broken-hearted Taka.

    Favorite quote: “This night would have been so much more pleasant if all the men had stopped talking.”

    • Amy M says:

      It’s true, Ariq does have a better first impression of Zenobia than she does of him. I’m very interested to see how each of them lives up to the other’s impressions as the story continues.

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