The Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook February 6, 2014Posted by stuffilikenet in Books, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Mutants.
The Iron Duke is the strangest mutant I have come across since the unholy alliance between our corrupt capitalist masters and the religious folk who should be guarding us from their perfidy. I am referring (since this is a happy, apolitical blog, dammit) to the alliance between steampunk fantasy and, um, er, um, sex. There, I said it. Happy?
This book is equal parts mystery, Victorian adventure, Hammer horror film and 1980’s ladies porn (not that I would know anything about that), with alternative (very) history thrown in to hold it together like alchemical glue. It succeeds marvelously, although it would work just as well without the bodice-ripper elements, honestly. I suspect Meljean Brook just likes smut (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The London of the time has been in the grip of Mongol invaders for two hundred years wherein they enslaved populations with nanotechnology (Englanders are called “buggers” since the bugs are in them and passed down to children. People who ran away from the Mongols and returned later are called “bounders”). Is that history alternative enough for you? The Iron Duke is the fellow who destroyed the Mongols control, and the center of the story and object of the unbridled lust of our heroine (naturally).
I quite liked it, despite the um, er, um, sex scenes. Like all such devices, the romance is somewhat improbable, but it is a steampunk, gaslight, Hammer-horror Victorian adventure, so that one improbability is kind of swallowed up in the whole. Anyway, the adventure rips along like a bodice under the lusty fingers of…uh, never mind. The pacing is quite brisk, matching the beating of her…uh, forget it.
Just buy the damned book.