Thursday, March 10, 2016

SFRB Recommends #53: Riveted by Meljean Brook #steampunk #romance #sfr

A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home...but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam...

The world of the Iron Seas is original and fully realized. David and Annika are, as well: she's a woman of color from Iceland (yes, there's a reason) with great mechanical acumen, and he's a cyborg (due to an accident) who chases volcanoes. Their missions collide aboard an airship, and they find they have an intense chemistry and friendship that develops organically. Although Annika may want to help David for personal reasons, she cannot endanger her people further.

Riveted is a finely crafted story with tight plotting, convincing action, and memorable characters that made its way onto my keeper shelf years ago. It touches my heart every time I reread it.

Author site: Meljean Brook - Author

Recommendation by Lee Koven.

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