Review also posted on my blog
The Iron Duke is the first steampunk book I have ever read. I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had a vision in my head of what a stempunk world might look like and I wasn’t repulsed by it, but putting that world in words seemed a little too much for me and I thought I would hate it. In the end I was pleasantly surprised. I did like this book, and I did like steampunk.
The world in this book was unlike anything else I have read; I swallowed it up whole and enjoyed the craziness of it. It was extremely imaginative and I happily gorged myself on it.
The story was great. I was expecting the norm paranormal romance/adult stuff (Likable characters, hot scenes and so much sexual tension you could drown in it) but was surprised to find that this had a lot more substance, it had a decent storyline and didn’t just rely on sex and a dominant male character. Sure it had all the normal stuff in it as well but there was much more to it than that which was a nice change.
Another thing I liked about this book was the characters. Mina and Rhys (the main characters) were great, especially in the beginning when there is a ton of tension and banter between them. But it is in the secondary characters where this book really gets its personality. Scarsdale (Rhys friend) literally made this book for me, I utterly adored him. He was charming and cheeky and by far the funniest thing in this book. Also Newberry (constable to Mina’s Lieutenant) deserves a mention for being utterly adorable.
Unfortunately, for me, this book had some major problems. My main issue with this is that a majority of the time I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, it confused me and used words and terms that I didn’t understand. I am not sure if this is because it is a steampunk book and I am unfamiliar with them of if it is just this book. Either way I felt that it shouldn’t have been so difficult to comprehend.
At times the book seemed to move and an agonizingly slow pace. It took me a long time to read it. A whole day for just under 400 pages (I read really fast and can normally read two books of this length in one day.) I felt like every sentence was full of stuff that needed to be processed but still the plot never moved on.
Also, I had an issue with the romance between Mina and Rhys. It was weird because I was never quite sure what was going on with them. He, at times, seemed a little forceful and she was a bit of a tease. It was not the worse romance I have read by a long shot but still I struggled to get fully behind them.
Overall The Iron Duke was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to fans of the genre and of romance. It was a good introduction into a genre that I knew nothing about and it has definitely made me want to read more steampunk.