NOTE: This review is for a book with mature content and sexy times!
Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook is a short novella in the Iron Seas series. It takes place just before book one and focuses on Ivy, a former apprentice of the Blacksmith, and Mad Machen, the captain of the pirate ship Vesuvius.
While not absolutely essential to the series as a whole, I highly recommend reading this, especially before book two. It adds another layer to many of the characters in Heart of Steel, as well as to the world. If you haven’t read any of the Iron Seas series and aren’t sure whether or not it’s your thing, this is a good, quick way to get a taste without pot committing. At about 125 pages, the read is short but full of the Iron Seas world, humor, and cast of characters.
I really enjoyed reading about Ivy and Mad Machen. The only reason this wasn’t a higher rating for me is that it is so short and Meljean Brook really excels with more pages. It was an entertaining read, as usual, with plenty of romance and a lot of chuckling on my part. I’m sure I’ll pick it up again on a rainy day when I want to spend a couple hours with a lighthearted, steampunky romance.
My favorite scene in true Iron Seas fashion:
“Duckie, escort Ivy Blacksmith to my cabin. See that she wants for nothing.”
“Yes, sir.” The boy gathered her satchel from the captain, and looked expectantly to Ivy.
Plastering on a smile, she pulled at her trouser legs and curtsied to Mad Machen. His laugh followed her to the stairs–and Ivy decided she could make a statement, too. A brass finial shaped like an egg decorated the end of the banister. Ivy closed her gray hand around it. Metal shrieked as she crushed the finial between her fingers.
His laughter stopped.
She released the mangled brass, and called over her shoulder, “I await your mighty prick, sir!”