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The Iron Fin

The Elemental Web Chronicles, Book 3
Written by: Anne Renwick
Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
Length: 13 hrs
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Isa McQuiston is caught between two worlds. Strange creatures are attacking her people, their injuries beyond her medical expertise. More than one fisherman has been tossed ashore by the waves, drained of blood, a severed tentacle piercing his flesh. To find answers, she must forge a cautious alliance with the outsider making inquiries...even if he does present an almost irresistible temptation.   

Dr. Alec McCullough, an injured naval officer, is restless and bored. Until his brother - an agent for the Crown - offers him an assignment: investigate a recent rash of unexplained octopus attacks. On the wet and windy Hebridean Isles, his every effort is met with resistance. Coaxing an attractive young widow - the local healer - to allow him to examine the latest victim only leads to further complications.    

A fusion of living and mechanical components, the creatures follow instinct but also command. Together, they uncover layers of deceit, revealing traitorous tentacles that entangle both their lives. As those behind their creation callously sacrifice innocent lives in pursuit of their goals, Isa and Alec struggle to forge a future together while attempting to prevent a disaster of international proportions.

©2018 Karen Pinco (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Karissa Eckert
  • 2019-07-26

One of my favorite steampunk series!

This is the third and final book in the Elemental Web Chronicles. While I felt like this was the weakest book in the Elemental Web Chronicles series, I still enjoyed it a ton. For some reason this book just felt a bit drawn out and long to me. I listened to this on audiobook and at one point thought it was almost done and then realized I had another 3 hours left.

As mentioned above, I listened to this on audiobook and it was well done. The male voices still tend to sound a bit robotic but the women’s voices and general narration are a joy to listen to.

This book tells the story of Isa (a Fin folk/doctor) and Alec (a Naval officer). When Fin start washing up on the beach dead with strange tentacular attachments, Alec is sent out to Isa’s Fin community to investigate. As they work together they grow not only to respect each other’s intellect but also forge a growing attraction and bond to each another.

I did enjoy the introduction of the Fin people and the strange biomechanical octopi. Isa and Alec have great chemistry together. However, I felt that Isa was one of the weaker heroines in this series...she just wasn't as scientifically inclined as her predecessors. She was smart, but her main contribution was her ability to swim really well.

Overall I really enjoyed this whole series. It has plenty of action paired with some steamy romance. I love the scientific theme to these books and the wonderful steampunk contraptions throughout. Each book in this series is fairly self contained.

If there were more books in this series I would definitely read them (there are some existing short stories in this series I will be picking up for Kindle). I love this world (and writing) enough that I plan on also reading the Elemental Web Tales, a trilogy of additional stories set in this world.

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  • BikeVON
  • 2019-07-16

A steampunk novel in Scotland

An irrational order and a miss step by a fellow diver, and Alec McCollough is seriously injured and can never dive again. Alec and his brother Logan have a relationship similar to Sherlock Holmes’ and his brother Mycroft. Logan like Mycroft is a Queen’s agent. Like Mycroft, Logan presented his brother with a mystery that captures his attention. How does wire mesh have cephalopod tissue grown upon it? What does that have to do with fisherman reported being stabbed by an octopus? What happen to Logan’s missing agent?

Isa Mcquiston is a young healer of Finn descent. Most Finns’ are fishermen, though in recent years some have been tempted to the city to make their fortunes. There is a stigma associated with being Finn. Therefore, Finn are reticent with outsiders. Many will surgically remove the webbing on their hands and feet and clip their ears to be accepted in the broader society. As Isa was preparing for such an operation, she was interrupted. A man was found stabbed with a tentacle. Are Finn being targeted?

Pursuing the mystery from different angles Alec and Isa converge at a fishing accident. While there, Alec reinjures his leg and Isa is seriously wounded. They were first distrustful of each other to share pertinent information about the deaths. Yet, within an hour and a half of a thirteen-hour book they are already attracted to each other. After three maybe four kisses and a little groping they privately wonder, are they in love? The mystery is second to rescuing someone that you could possibly love.

Much of the science deals with marine biotechnology, hematology, octopi, glycoprotein, megaldon and Finn biology. I do wonder about the science that permitted Alec to have 3 knee replacement operations and he never convalesced.

In a dark dank castle, there is a psychotic doctor without a moral code and a narrow view on what is a human.

I was amaze at the gigits and gadgets, which are a hallmark of steampunk.