Series: London Steampunk, #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on May 7, 2013
Pages: 448 pages
Reviewed by: Kristina
Some graphic sex scenes
In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…
Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…
Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.
With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…
HEART OF IRON is a fun steampunk story with a plethora of political dealings both with other countries and high society. There is a unique take in this story on women vying for a husband/suitor by going to balls like in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Except vampires take the place of Mr. Darcy and the debutantes are vying to be blood donors in order to have a life of privilege and wealth.While I loved the ideas and world building in HEART OF IRON I couldn't connect with either Will or Lena.
There is a fine line between a character who is a brooding tortured soul and a sociopathically dangerous brooding tortured soul. Will, unfortunately leans a little more toward the ‘stay far far away from’ camp. I could not understand what Lena saw in him or how she actually felt safe in a room with someone so threatening. Will really doesn't do too much to make up for his brutish behavior or even really evolve over the course of the story.
Lena is a headstrong, persistent character which is an admirable trait for any heroine except she like Will, crosses the line of being so headstrong that she lacks self-preservation by putting herself in a number of obviously dangerous situations. Its also not too clear whether she actually knows anything about the rogue humanistic rebel group (a pro-human/anti-vampire group who are actually a pretty cool aspect of HEART OF IRON) she is working for. This lack of knowledge either proves her extreme naivety or recklessness considering she rarely questions their motives until the later part of the story.
While Will and Lena’s negative traits hampered some of my enjoyment this series, HEART OF IRON has a wonderfully multi-layered, complex, and colorful world with some interesting side characters who I look forward to reading about in the London Steampunk series. MY LADY QUICKSILVER, the third book in this series comes out on October 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca.