The Kraken King by Meljean Brook: A Review of Parts 1 and 2

Disclaimer: I received the first two parts of this serialized novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Also, because this is a serialized novel, there may be spoilers about part one in the part two review. 

Got my hands on my first every Meljean Brook novel – or rather I should say serial novel – a few weeks ago.


The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster is the first part of a eight part serialized novel, set in an alternate universe with steampunk elements:

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes. But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

The first part was exiting and mysterious – a lot of secrets to go around. As the reader, we know a few that Zenobia is keeping, but Ariq is almost completely in the dark. We know that Zenobia is travelling as Geraldine, a widow, though of course she’s actually a spinster who pens novels. Zenobia agrees to the journey, thinking it’ll be dull, but it actually morphs into an adventure like the ones she writes about.

And in comes Ariq. He rescues Zenobia, who wants nothing more than to stay off his radar, but that only makes Ariq more determined and intrigued.

Zenobia and Ariq have amazing character chemistry right of the bat and are pretty much on the same level when it comes to all the banter in the novel. (I swear when they one-up each other during some of the dialogue, I channeled Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory – “Bazinga!”)

But basically, the first part of the novel served as a teaser for all the great things to come in the later parts…and, boy, am I ever excited!


The second part of the novel, The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm, was equally as entertaining:

As they continue their expedition across Australia, Ariq is determined to stay close to
Zenobia and figure out what kind of game she’s playing—even as his admiration for the enigmatic woman starts to override his suspicion.

For Zenobia, revealing her identity to a man who once made his living outside of the law is out of the question—even though Ariq’s dashing looks and blunt manner are distractingly appealing.

But before anyone’s secrets or desires can be exposed, an unexpected attack threatens to destroy them all…

OMG! The world building in this series! My inner escapist geek couldn’t have been more delighted.

We also get to learn more about the characters in part two, such as how Ariq earned the nickname of “The Kraken King” and Zenobia’s quick wit and bravery. And I was actually starting to like Helene, Zenobia’s travelling companion, by this part of the novel. And the lust between Zenobia and Ariq continues to scorch.

The only complaint I could possibly have about The Kraken King is that it is a serialized novel and the wait for part three is going to be killer. Not that it’s going to stop me from rereading parts one and two again and reliving the adventure we’ve been introduced to. I give parts one and two of The Kraken King 5/5 – they were a strong start to an original story and I can’t wait to see what the next parts have in store!


And to see all the animated covers go here.

Rika Ashton

(aka “I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to read a novel by Meljean Brook!”)

P.S: To learn more about the new review policy and how to make a request, go here.


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