4.5 stars. Swashbuckling adventure, fearsome steam-powered creatures, and sweet romance make this a great read. The setting is divided between a helium powered airship and Iceland's volcanic landscape. David is a vulcanologist. He is infected with nanoagents and his body has been rebuilt with bio-mechanical limbs, which makes him very strong but also isolates him as others are repulsed by his differences. Annika is the engineer on the airship, Phateon. She has left her isolated Sapphist village to search for her missing sister but meets David and begins to question her beliefs. The two are caught up in the destructive plans of a madman. The most appealing part of David and Annika's romance is their naivete and timidity and how quickly it turns around as they experience sex and love for the first time. The other thing I really enjoyed in this novel were the mechanical monstrosities. The whale that could swallow whole ships, the giant Trolls that can race across the tundra, etc etc. All really exciting, edge-of-your-seat stuff.Meljean Brook is one of my top 5 authors. I love her wild imagination and sweeping love stories. I love the complexity and morality in her novels. I've never read a book of hers that didn't make me feel emotional. I was telling my sister about the ending in one of her books from the Guardian series and it still brought me to tears even months after I read it. A few things detracted slightly from this story for me. While the villain's demise was spectacular, it was only presented to the reader from a second-hand perspective and therefore it seemed anti-climactic and distant. I also found Paolo and Kalla's storyline a bit bizarre and hard to believe. Despite that I really loved it. I'm also really anticipating the final Guardian book coming out in 2013.