To Serial or Not To Serial: THE KRAKEN KING Parts I-IV by Meljean Brook

Posted 25 April, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 27 Comments

It seems serials are The New Thing and, despite my aversion to them and issues with them (yeah, I did a post), I do still get sucked in from time to time. Especially when it’s an author who I really enjoy and as part of a series I’m fully invested in.

The talented Meljean Brook’s eight-part serial, THE KRAKEN KING, is one of those bits of serial book crack that snuck through my defenses, especially since it features Zenobia, the unmarried sister of reformed playboy and adventurer Archemedes Fox.

It looks like, according to Goodreads, Berkley is going to publish the story in its entirety in August (though Brook’s website says it’s been pushed back), after all the bits of the serial have been released. I’m curious as to how effective this strategy is. Will people respond to the serial or will they wait to buy the book so they can read the whole story at one time? Personally, I’m more of a whole-book-in-one-gulp girl, especially since I read so fast, but… what do you all think? Pick it up as the serial parts publish or are you a one-gulp reader? I’m also curious as to the cost. Do eight parts of a serial at $1.99 each translate for you? (I didn’t see the complete novel listed so I don’t know the price.)

THE KRAKEN KING (An Eight-Part Serial Novel; The Iron Seas #4) by Meljean Brook
SciFi Steampunk Romance
Parts available April-June 2014
Publisher: InterMix (Berkley)
Review copies of parts I-VI provided by publisher for honest review

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes. But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

Part I: THE KRAKEN KING AND THE SCRIBBLING SPINSTER
98 pages, ebook
Available now (April 2014)

Well, this starts out with a bang. Zenobia Fox, traveling incognito as Geraldine Fox with her unsuspecting friend, is bored and hoping for a little adventure as she accompanies her friend to meet up with her husband. However, she didn’t expect to have to leap out of an airship or to be saved by The Kraken King himself (aka Ariq). With the end of part I, this whip-smart author embarks on her own adventure, one to rival her brother’s.

Part II: THE KRAKEN KING AND THE ABOMINABLE WORM
92 pages, ebook
Available now (April 2014)

As Ariq and Zenobia travel across Australia–Ariq hunting for the mercenaries who are attacking travelers up and down the coast; Zenobia looking for passage for her and her companions to the Red City–they continue the flirtation stared in Ariq’s town. However, Zenobia overhears something she shouldn’t have and now the small amount of trust she had in him is gone. Ariq isn’t one to give up on something he wants (one of the reasons they call him the Kraken King, after all) and he continues his quest to charm Zenobia into his bed, even though she adeptly evades his advances.

Part III: THE KRAKEN KING AND THE FOX’S DEN
100 pages, ebook
Available April 29, 2014

The steampunk elements in this entire series are fascinating. There are dirigibles, floating manors, kraken and all kind of cool tools and instruments. However, none of those prevent Zenobia from yet another attempted kidnapping. Dang, that girl is one hot commodity. Things continue to heat up between Ariq and Zenobia as they continue their dance however, when Ariq discovers Zenobia’s letters from her brother, his suspicions about her being a spy continue to grow.

Part IV: THE KRAKEN KING AND THE INEVITABLE ABDUCTION
102 pages, ebook
Available May 6, 2014

Well, it finally happened. Ariq found out who Zenobia truly is (well, her true identity, not everything…yet) and has declared her to be under The Kraken King’s protection. Which is all well and good except now she has a new target painted on her back. But passionate kisses make up for such things, don’t they? Zenobia isn’t quite sure and is still fighting a bit of that attraction…though it’s pretty obvious to everyone that she’s falling for him.

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27 Responses to “To Serial or Not To Serial: THE KRAKEN KING Parts I-IV by Meljean Brook”

  1. Wow yeah I wouldn’t be doing that as a serial. That’s SO flipping expensive! I just don’t get this trend and why people pick them up. They frustrate me to no end having to read piecemeal. This one does sound good though. I’ll keep an eye out for the full book 🙂 Hopefully it’ll come out when they mentioned.

  2. I’m rather disappointed this is being published as a serial, only because Brooks’s novels are the kind that can easily be devoured in one sitting and by dragging them out, I lose that experience. I’m planning to wait till the full-length novel is released before tackling this, though I’m glad to see you’re enjoying it, Mary!

  3. I definitely like to have all my books in one go, so would definitely wait to have the full book in my hands, I’m the most impatient reader ever, so don’t think I could wait until all parts are out! Thanks for putting this books on my radar Mary! 🙂

    • I’m right there with you on the impatience scale. Too hard to wait! And then I forget what happened in the previous episode…it’s a mess. But these are fun (even though I NEED the last two, like, now).

  4. The only serial I read was Curio by Cara McKenna. It’s not my favorite way to read a book and I’m not sure I would take a chance on a new author with that format but for one I love it might be fun.

  5. I have to go for the binge reading of the book, I get too frustrated with serials, and I have such a short attention span when it comes to sticking with series (there are SO many books waving at me from my TBR pile), it just gets even worse when I don’t have time to invest deeply in the characters. To me, serials are great for graphic novels but not for prose, it’s like it’s just not ever enough. I’m curious to know how your next serial read goes for you, if you’re able to stay interested and not curse the cliffies! 🙂

    • YES! It really is harder to get invested with the characters with a serial. You don’t get to spend enough time with them before that part ends. I’m curious to see if I can stick with another serial. I might not have it in me!

  6. Serials are certainly the new black, but this one seems a bit different. For one, the parts are so very long, and each has its own cover, which is quite unusual. I loved this series from the start, but I haven’t read this yet.

  7. I’ve never actually tried out a serial but they are getting more and more popular, and usually authors do combine them in full length novels afterwards. This one sounds like a pretty compelling steampunk read!

  8. Okay, those are some gorgeous covers! I’m a huge fan of steampunk, though I’ve only read a few, so I’m going to have to check these out! Thanks for putting them on my radar, Mary!

  9. I’m like you–not much for serials unless it’s a well-beloved author. Fortunately for me, as much as I enjoyed The Iron Duke, I haven’t kept up with the series, so hopefully by the time I’m up-to-date, the all-in-one (hopefully cheaper) version will be out 😉

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    • I loved The Iron Duke and highly enjoyed the others in this series. By the time you get around to it, the finished novel will probably be out and you’ll be all set!

  10. I love this series so much but I hate serials so very much! I hate cliff hangers and like you, I would rather devour a good book in one sitting without having to wait. I am a very fast reader so the waiting would be torture. I feel like this trend is a cash grab by the publishers at the expense of loyal readers. I will definitely be waiting until August to buy The Kraken King when I hope it will not cost $16. I don’t know that I’ll buy it if that’s the price even though I’ve loved every other book in the series. The only serial I’ve enjoyed was Kresley Cole’s. The books came out so quickly and were only in 3 parts. I felt they each ended in a good place and I only ended up spending around $6 which is perfectly reasonable. I really hope that this trend does not grow even more popular with the authors I follow. Another author that I used to follow had several serials at the beginning of this trend and I’ve no longer read any of her new books. It just completely put me off the series. I guess I’m spoiled and hate to wait!

  11. I tend to avoid serials if at all possible. But I’ve seen them a lot with self pubs. One author I know has set the price purposefully so that it won’t add up beyond a regular book. But it is a way to get more money out of selling books. I know the Magnus Bane series was way more expensive if you bought them individually than waiting for the set to release together. I’m definitely one for a big gulp.

  12. I so want to read this one…but not pay for a bunch of them, le sigh, I do want the whole thing cos I hate waiting. So cruel, I guess I am not a serial girl