We’re almost to the halfway mark! How’s everyone holding on?
It has been a busy week at Blog le Meljean. In case you missed it, I listed the word/page count for each part here, so you know how much story you’re paying for.
And of course the discussion thread continues! Actually, right now it’s more of a Q&A thread, but feel free to discuss! There are still weekly reviews and discussions also taking place at Vampire Book Club, at That’s What I’m Talking About, Talk Supe, and Rosario’s Reading Journal.
Reviews and Comments
So I’m going a bit of a lazy way this week, because I’m trying to keep my head down and finish up Part 8. So instead of quoting the reviews themselves, I’m embedding the tweets/links to the reviews. Remember, if you ever want me to post one of your reviews, or link to you, just let me know! Sometimes I miss them, so I’m always grateful for the heads-up.
Bitten by Books posted two reviews this week, for Part II and III
The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm by Meljean Brook http://t.co/fTtKUITJKw
— BittenbyBooks.com (@BittenbyBooks) May 3, 2014
The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den by Meljean Brook http://t.co/nJ735R98YK
— BittenbyBooks.com (@BittenbyBooks) May 3, 2014
— Jen Twimom (@Twimom227) May 3, 2014
@laurahunsaker posted reviews of several parts this week at Got Fiction, and added:
Meljean Brook’s The Kraken King…worth every page. Go buy it now!
— Highland Hussy (@laurahunsaker) May 3, 2014
So I know he’s a cartoon character, but I see Ariq from Meljean’s the Kraken King as Li Shang from Mulan. Don’t judge-he’s hot!
— Highland Hussy (@laurahunsaker) May 2, 2014
Doug Meeks posted reviews of Parts I – III at Wicked Scribes, and said of Part IV:
— Douglas C. Meeks (@dougmeeks) May 2, 2014
The Fallen Professor said:
— Fallen Professor (@fallenprof) May 1, 2014
And at Fiction Vixen, the weekly reviews continue!
— Chelsea Mueller (@ChelseaVBC) April 30, 2014
Tracy has a review up at Tracy’s Place:
Review: The Kraken King Part III: The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den by Meljean Brook: Warning: This review may… http://t.co/XTwrLib1kH
— Tracys_Place (@Tracys_Place) April 29, 2014
And don’t forget Smexy Books!
Review: The Kraken King: Parts 1-3 by Meljean Brook http://t.co/2NX5R7sx9E
— Mandi Schreiner (@smexybooks) April 29, 2014
HEA Reads also has been posting reviews of each part here:
HEA – Reads: Review: The Kraken King Part III: The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den by Meljean Brook http://t.co/dSEdboGY9Y
— Jess (@Loves_HEAs) April 29, 2014
And although this wasn’t a review by Elizabeth Hunter, she loved this one that she read at Amazon (I did, too!)
I love this Amazon review of The Kraken King by Meljean Brook. If you haven’t started reading Brook yet, why not?… http://t.co/brarxfR58R
— Elizabeth Hunter (@E__Hunter) April 30, 2014
Excerpt for Part IV (and no, that’s not Ariq on the cover!):
It has been becoming more and more difficult to find non-spoilery excerpts, so this one is just a little shorter. But I hope just as enjoyable! A LOT happens to our heroes in this part.
“What is it?” His voice low, Ariq interrupted her thoughts.
Because she had been staring at him again. Not that she had been seeing him. No, his tunic concealed too much. It revealed the breadth of his shoulders, but not the solid form beneath. And that was what she’d been remembering. How he’d stood without a shirt atop a kraken, and how his muscles had rippled with every push and pull of the saw. How he’d walked out of the sea and teased her in the moonlight with only a towel circling his hips. So she’d been staring, thinking of her legs circling his hips and trying to calculate the weight of him there.
She glanced around them. Farther along the deck, Helene reclined on the lounging chair, in conversation with Lieutenant Blanchett. A few other passengers walked from porthole to porthole, looking out. No one was near, so Zenobia could say whatever she wished.
She met Ariq’s gaze again. “I was thinking that you are very big.”
His expression barely altered. Just a sleepy droop of his eyelids, as if they were heavy, and the airship seemed to shift beneath her feet. Oh, dear God. Whatever she’d been imagining now . . . she suspected it would be no more like the reality than her first imaginings had been.
“I am,” he said.
Big. She’d almost forgotten what he was responding to. Looking blindly through the porthole, she pressed her hand against the cool glass, trying not to feel her heart pounding through her skin. “I won’t kiss you again.”
Ariq pushed closer, and though he didn’t touch her, suddenly she could feel every inch of him.
Like coarse wool scraping over steel, he softly said, “You won’t?”
“It’s your turn to kiss me.”
Best to tell him, or he might wait forever for some silly reason. Who knew what twisted logic lay in men’s minds? She still didn’t know why he’d tried for distance before. They had been moving in opposite directions all this time, and she didn’t know why they were coming together now.
Except that they just couldn’t seem to stay apart.
He hadn’t answered yet. She glanced over. His gaze had fallen to her bruised jaw, her swollen lip.
Oh. Not such a silly reason to wait, after all. And the warmth moving through her now had little to do with her body, and much to do with her heart.
She should be more careful. He’d hurt her before with words, with indifference. But he could hurt her much worse if she believed that he cared more than he did.
But this voyage was already better than before—and she’d intended this trip to be an adventure. Surely she should take a risk.
If she did, she had to do it soon. Because the Red City was just over the next rise, and Ariq wasn’t only waiting to kiss her. He was waiting for her to tell him who she really was. He knew her name, but didn’t know all that name meant. And he’d given her until tonight to tell him.
That decision was almost upon her—and she didn’t only risk her heart. She risked her brother, too.
Maybe she could just tell Ariq half the truth. She could say who Zenobia Fox was without revealing that she was also related to the man who’d once destroyed some of the rebellion’s war machines. She didn’t have to say she was a Gunther-Baptiste.
If she had been looking toward forever with Ariq, of course that would have to be revealed. But she wasn’t. Whatever happened between them in the Red City would end when she returned home.
So how long would she stay? That depended almost entirely on Helene, and whether her friend needed her after revealing her condition to her husband.
How long would Ariq stay?
She didn’t know. It couldn’t be long.
The realization settled like a heavy sickness in her chest. Then it vanished, along with every single thought as the airship crested the forested ridge. She stared ahead, disbelieving her eyes. Before her lay the Red City and, behind it, the enormous wall that marked the boundary of the Nipponese territory—oh, but who cared? She gripped the edge of the porthole, trying to see everything beyond the wall all at once.
So many towers. Rising high, so high, and glowing a soft pink as if made from marble and washed by a sunset. They stood close together, canyons of soaring towers with airships floating between. Clear turquoise water flowed like a river between the structures nearest to the sea, and the reflection danced up over the walls.
“What is it?” she breathed.