The Iron Fin (The Elemental Web Chronicles #3)


STEAMPUNK/HISTORICAL/FANTASY:  Dr. Alec McCullough is a member of BURR – Benthic Underwater Reconnaissance and Rescue. While on a mission, he injures his knee so badly that he needs a mechanical knee replacement. No longer fit for missions, Alec is given a laboratory and a specimen that appears at first examination to be an octopus. After careful study, he discovers it is living flesh with a fabricated core of metal — artificial and natural at the same time. Simultaneously, Isa McQuiston is at the Isle of Lewis attending to her own patients. One evening a Finn angler is washed ashore, impaled on an octopus tentacle. Isa is called, but too late for the patient. Alec hears of Isa and her dead fisherman and deigns to find her and exchange notes. They must find out who is behind these mechanical octopi and their evil intentions.

“The Iron Fin” is a steampunk story filled with resourceful innovations of which we have yet to see. The account is intricately crafted with medical, military, and civilian terms in order to tie the three worlds together. Written at a somewhat higher level than most, one may find it helpful to keep a dictionary handy. The pacing is slow and difficult to fully immerse oneself into this fascinating story. The many secondary characters such as the members of the BURR team are difficult to keep track of, yet they fill out the story making it a more satisfactory read. Several personality conflicts give this story a real feeling and make it more relatable for the reader. Definitely a must read!

Belinda Wilson