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Riveted (A Novel of the Iron Seas) (edition 2012)

by Meljean Brook

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1642272,634 (3.85)2
Member:jthorburn
Title:Riveted (A Novel of the Iron Seas)
Authors:Meljean Brook
Info:Berkley Trade (2012), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:steampunk

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Riveted by Meljean Brook

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Set in Brooks’ steampunk/biologically altered Europe universe. Woman trying to find her sister without revealing the secrets of her village encounters hot guy with a mechanical arm and eye who is accidentally threatening those secrets with his explorations of Greenland. They nonetheless fall in lust, then love, and join together in the last third of the book to fight off a mad scientist’s terrible schemes. (Actually the schemes of his even more terrible son, but that’s a side note that turns out to involve the sister, by SHEEREST COINCIDENCE.) In the last third it moved briskly enough to keep my attention, but I didn’t feel the core metaphor of the heroine who wants to feel “riveted” by the presence of her man before she gives her heart; that metaphor came up a lot. ( )
  rivkat | Jul 24, 2015 |
Annika is from a hidden village in Iceland and has spent the past four years searching for her sister when she runs into David. David is bent on fulfilling a promise to his mother that threatens to expose Annika’s people. While set in the same world as the rest of the Iron Seas series, this book can stand firmly on its own. There are no connections between the other books in the series so this would be a good introduction to the series if you’re not wanting to start with [b:The Iron Duke|7864587|The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1)|Meljean Brook|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1409873492s/7864587.jpg|11022865]. ( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
O caso do "Riveted" é que era o terceiro da saga "Iron Seas" e seria provavelmente um "deal breaker" para mim: apesar de ter gostado bastante dos dois anteriores, receava que este não fosse tão bom e que matasse o meu amor pela saga. Posso seguramente dizer que tal não aconteceu.
Por um lado compreendo o meu receio pré-leitura: este "Riveted" é a história mais isolada do universo até ao momento. Nas histórias anteriores ainda encontravamos personagens ou lugares que faziam a ponte entre histórias e que de certa forma faziam o leitor sentir que não está apenas a ler uma sequência de histórias num universo comum mas também uma saga, em que todos os personagens parecem fazer parte de um plano maior. Riveted tem muito pouco ou nada em comum com as personagens ou lugares do "The Iron Duke" ou "Heart of Steel". Da publicidade que foi feita eu sabia que esta história divergia bastante no espaço e ligações às personagens que conhecíamos anteriormente. Mas é, apesar de tudo, um romance da Meljean Brook e por isso não desilude, pelo contrário. Apesar do início de história ser de facto pouco cativante (uma mulher em busca da irmã desaparecida e um homem em busca da aldeia misteriosa da mãe), com as reviravoltas que o enredo sofre, depressa se torna uma viagem mirabolante, uma aventura cheia de perigos e obstáculos incríveis. Com a Islândia como pano de fundo, há gelo, mar, vulcões, minas e trolls para colorir a história.
Esta autora tem o talento de escrever personagens femininas muito fortes e cativantes, verdadeiras heroínas a três dimensões e, neste romance, Annika é tudo isso, mas pouco. Passo a explicar: senti que já apanhava a aventura dela a meio e por isso não senti que ela tivesse que ultrapassar grandes perigos ou que tivesse que ultrapassar uma grande barreira emocional para ficar com o David. A grande dor dela durante parte do livro era se poderia ou não confiar nele, depois se ele iria ficar com ela mas nada que uma boa conversa não resolvesse, na minha opinião.
Já por outro lado David surpreendeu-me bastante e enamorei-me totalmente por ele. De tal forma que dei por mim a pensar a certo ponto: "Eu gosto assim da Annika apenas porque o David gosta dela e está a sofrer neste momento e eu não suporto vê-lo sofrer". A história dele é comovente e enriquecedora, porque não é comum ler-se histórias de pessoas com deficiências físicas, e surpreendi-me com a força e o caracter dele e emocionei-me com o romance dos dois.
Há também uma reflexão social (e sexual) que é colocada de uma forma muito interessante na história e que é essencial para a resolução do conflito dos personagens principais, que também é uma discussão muito actual nos dias de hoje.
Assim, posso concluir que "Riveted" não só não desiludiu como foi uma excelente adição ao mundo de "The Iron Seas": deu a perspectiva do que acontece noutras partes do mundo na mesma época, como outras culturas foram afectadas, como pensam, como estão a evoluir, que invenções estão a surgir ou como reagem perante os infectados. ( )
  tchetcha | Jan 15, 2015 |
Annika is looking for her sister, after her own mistake caused her to be wrongly banished from her home. She left her insular, hidden community of Hannasvik to search the entire world for her, if she has to, carefully keeping knowledge of her origin secret. She knows that Hannasvik would not do well if exposed to the prejudices of the outside world.

David is part of a science and exploration expedition to Iceland when he runs into Annika – and hears the accents of his dead mother. After so many years, he now has the chance to fulfil his mother’s dying wish – but Annika is very closed mouthed about her origin, and suspicious of his questions.

But even as they struggle over Annika’s secrets, a greater threat arises – there are powerful men with dangerous plans on the island and more than Hannasvik may be at risk.

The romance in this book is generally one I enjoy and reflects many of the positive points I’ve found in several books in the series. Annika is attracted to David, she likes him, she’s intrigued by him – but is stopped from getting close because of dual concerns – the need to maintain secrecy about her origins and she has an ongoing task to find her sister. This is exacerbated by David actually having an ulterior motive to get to know Annika which she can certainly sense and is duly wary about. She has priorities which, to her, take precedence over romance even if she does care for David, find him attractive or even like him. This is something I really appreciate in a romance – the characters maintaining other priorities than romance and those priorities not being utterly destroyed because there’s a chance of some really hot nookie. I find a lot of romance characters can come across as either deeply self-absorbed or grossly lacking in priorities simply because the romance consumes everything else in their lives, regardless of responsibilities

This also creates a reasonable conflict. I’ve complained a lot about romances that have convoluted conflicts based on dubious misunderstandings, assumptions or rather dubious mis-overheard conversations (or believe that one or other party is dangerous/cursed/hunted by angry vampire bonobos. There’s also of dubious conflict in romance) – but this book works because the conflict is reasonable and makes sense. Annika does have other priorities, she does have people to protect, equally David has commitments and a life to lead. All of this doesn’t disappear because romance is in the offing.

There’s also the story which is pretty excellent. The conniving of the bad guys, the risk to Anna’s home, how David is drawn in all work to create a twisty, interesting, well paced and very fun plot. The story has a lot of character agency, a lot of the characters being awesome without being ridiculously powerful and it holds together with excellent consistence, not needing leaps of logic or random chance or sheer bizarre luck to hold any element together. It works, it draws me in and is one of those that makes me want to keep reading no matter what’s happening around me.

In turn the romance works so well with the story – it’s tangential to it, it doesn’t draw from it, it doesn’t try to overwhelm the story. David and Annika form a romantic connection while still firmly focused on the actual plot and what is vital at that moment.

It’s also a plot that continues to link to the rest of the Iron Seas series which I like – even though we have a completely different cast of characters to the other books I’ve read in the series, the world is always very present in all the books, the story is directly impacted by this extremely unique and fascinating world to make the whole series feel much more like a whole even without direct connections. This is not a plot that could exist in any other setting because the world Meljean Brook has created permeates the whole series.

The only thing that can match the excellent world building is the excellent characterisation. The characters have history and depth and nuance, they’re not perfect, they do things wrong – and people who like them aren’t all good guys and people they disagree with aren’t all bad guys. They’re nuanced, developed, have their own motives and hobbies and lives – they’re excellent characters.

The diversity of this book is excellent. The protagonist, Annika is a Black woman and her love interest/co-protagonist David is Native American and disabled. Annika is also brought up in a completely different culture from those around her so frequently challenges so many of the assumptions and conventions of “manners” people have. Some of these are basic cultural examination – like the idea that someone’s place of origin is so essential to know, or that she finds delving into someone’s past when they are clearly unwilling to divulge invasive and unacceptable. While at the same time she is open and honest about attraction and relationships that others find taboo which is a nice twist. But she also relates this to her race and sexuality – everyone sees a Black woman and assumes she’s from a certain place (the Liberé territory in this world) even though she points out that their own cities have considerable Black populations – she challenges and mocks the ridiculous assumption, no-one should reasonably have. She also repeatedly, due to her originals, challenges and questions the misogyny of the world, causing David to re-examine several things he generally assumes as basic reality.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Nov 26, 2014 |
There is no connection to previous Iron Seas books. They are only in the same world. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
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Before Annika had begun her journey, her mother had assured her that the people in the New World weren't all that different from the women in their village of Hannasvik.
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A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland's inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend-- and the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magical. Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister K?alla took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on an airship, searching for her sister and longing to return home-- and expedition leader David Kentewess is looking to expose Annika's secrets. When David and Annika are stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman,their very survival depending on keeping the heat rising between them-- and generating lots of steam...… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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