Awesome, awesome, awesome! I love the steampunk world that Meljean Brook has created here. We are given a completely new set of characters than in the first two books of the Iron Seas series, and more intricate world-building. While Iron Duke is still my absolute fav, I think because of our intro to this wonderful world, this is a close second for the characters who populate it. Annika, is from a secret village in Iceland, looking for her sister who has been missing for 4 years. David is a vulcanologist, but also looking for his mother's homeland.
I don't think this will be spoilerish, but I really
liked that Meljean has used some nontraditional characters here (and the cover, while beautiful, doesn't really do them justice in their ethnicities. But that's what I want to talk about. The female lead is Liberian, which I take to be of African descent. The male lead is part Native American. People always want to know where they are from, so that they can figure them out, instead of what they like to do, what kind of people they are, etc. That thought process actually knocked my socks off, because I am guilty of the same thing, judging a book by its cover. How on earth if someone is of African descent, can that tell you anything about who they are?
The second thing that blew me away, was the village that Annika hails from. I am completely open-minded, but I still didn't get it at first, until it was spelled out for me. I'm actually kind of embarrassed at myself!
Who'd ever have expected a steampunk book to be a lesson in disguise.