Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City (Iron Seas, #1.5)
I liked this epilogue/novella about Rhys and Mina. I particularly enjoyed the fact that as they adjust to marriage and work through fears, they have taken the time to form their own little family with Anne the Tinker. Still, Scarsdale is the most memorable character in this short story with his unbearable situation. It is heartbreaking, and I'm hoping that Brook finds a great resolution for him. I also wonder if the storyline used as part of the mystery in this short about children working as laborers and automatons taking over factories will be fully realized in a future story. Grade: B-
Heart of Steel (Iron Seas #2) by Meljean Brook
The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire #2) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
I again enjoyed the vampires in this book and their ruthless performances. Adele begins the story as a romantic young girl dreaming of her days with Greyfriar and ends it closer to a woman ready to lead her people. She also seems to be either willingly blind or just totally unaware (clueless) when she should not be, so that her character becomes really frustrating after a while. Greyfriar plays the brooding hero willing to sacrifice for his lady, but he is less than I expected. As Adele grows and is willing to lead, Greyfriar's character seems diminished. We are told that he is strong and smart, but is he? Where is his strength and willingness to lead, to confront, to save his people? Why isn't he willing to do so? By the end of the book I found his situation to be heartbreaking, but also pathetic. I do like his sense of humor, those moments when he's reading the penny dreadful novels are wonderful, and his impossible love for Adele romantic.
Overall, the book has a slow beginning with action picking up in the middle that doesn't really lead anywhere but helps with Adele's personal growth and that goes on to the end, some two-dimensional characterization for secondary characters, i.e., senator Clark, and a good ending that prepares the reader for the conclusion of this trilogy. I already have the last installment and am hoping for a good ending. Grade: C