Published: August 12th, 2013
Steel Lily (The Periodic Series #1)
By: Megan Curd
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.
She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.
Or so she thinks.
That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.
But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.
…Which means digging deeper.
When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.
Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.
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BIO: Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.
When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.
Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.
Recently I've been becoming disillusioned with dystopia as a general rule. I feel like everyone has been jumping on the bandwagon and publishing mediocre and downright AWFUL books - which are the only kind I seem to be getting my hands on. Steel Lily has renewed my faith in the genre you guys! I was contacted by the author about reviewing this book on my blog and normally I am very careful about accepting requests, so that I can give a good review. Contrary to popular belief (at least on my part) most bloggers hate giving bad book reviews - I'd much prefer to give a good one, as it means my time was well spent reading a good book. This one definitely fits the bill! One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that while it has steampunk elements to it, at its heart the novel is mostly dystopia. As someone who is not a major fan of steampunk, this was a make or break factor for me.
The main characters and the side characters were both really well developed, with Avery Pike being one of the most compelling protagonists I've read in quite some time. She's a girl with the world on her shoulders, an amazing elemental ability and the best sense of humor. Her banter with some of the other characters made me laugh out loud, which is harder to come by than you might think even in a really good book. Megan gives us some truly detailed descriptions and I was able to picture everything unfolding in my mind, almost like watching a movie in my head. And unlike a lot of recent dystopians, she gives us the basic building blocks of the world without leaving obvious gaps that alienate the reader. For example, you know that this book is set not too long after WWIII and the remaining population is living in domes to avoid radiation poisoning on the uninhabitable portions of land that are left. The dome that Avery lives in runs off of steam and she is one of very few elementalists keeping her dome alive. But there is corruption in the police force, known as the Polatzi and Avery is also being treated horribly by her classmates and fellow elementalists. Still desperate to find out what happened to her parents, Avery ends up leaving the dome with a mysterious man who says that he can help her with her abilities - and he knows where her parents are.
The adventure and action in this book is phenomenal. It's definitely writing at it's best when there's not even a line of text that seems superfluous to the story and you are hanging on the edge of your seat the whole time. The introduction of Avery's love interest, Jaxon, (however reluctantly she may admit her feelings for him) is especially entertaining and one of my favorite parts in the book. I liked the slow build of their relationship and some of the discoveries about the Resistance and the corruption in the domes that they make together. Sari is another interesting character, a hacker who is friends with Jaxon and becomes Avery's roommate. I did feel like I got to know her the least and I am hoping that Megan gives us a little more insight into her background in the next book. Alice, the best friend from her original dome, definitely provides a nice contrast to the people in Avery's new living environment. She has a great personality, sweet with a hint of sassiness. And the loyalty and sisterly bond between her and Avery is awesome. Not to say their relationship is perfect, because it's not. But that makes it better in my opinion than if it were.
The resolution of the plots the author has going (the missing parents of Avery, the truth of the dome corruption, what adults the teens can trust [a.k.a. who the real villain is]) were well carried out. I did kind of see one of the plot twists coming, but the way it was written was exceptional and I enjoyed it very much. Actually, probably my only complaint about this book at all would be that the dialogue/speech sometimes felt stilted and a little unnatural. It would occasionally make a drop from formal to modern in a way that wasn't entirely smooth. But it didn't distract me from the overall awesomeness of this book. So I'd call it a very minor flaw. Overall, Steel Lily impressed me very much and I am so glad I got the chance to read it! A fresh, heart-stopping addition to the dystopia family, I'd recommend this to anyone who is longing for a book that will finally leave them satisfied, as so many don't anymore.
VERDICT: 4.5/5 Stars
*I received this ebook from the author, in exchange for an honest review and participation in a blog tour. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published August 12th, 2013. It's now available as an ebook.*
I’d never seen anyone like him in Dome Four. His jawbone was strong, his cheekbones set high. His nose was regal and straight and when my gaze reached his eyes, my breath caught. Stormy blue-grey eyes that reminded me of shale returned my gaze with seemingly genuine curiosity, if not a bit of humor. Strips of colored fabric were woven into his dreadlocked hair, giving it a wildly unique appearance that suited him. His smug expression made me realize he was enjoying this. “Are you finished checking me out? If you’re not, that’s okay; I allow every new woman I meet a free five-minute gawking period. After that, it’ll cost you.” Blood rushed to my face. I tore my eyes from his magnetic gaze and watched as he took a worn leather strap off his wrist. He pulled back his dreadlocks–deep brown streaked with blonde–into the strap. His devilish grin pulled his eyes tight at the corners. He was trouble incarnate. Trouble I may very well want to get into, given the right circumstances. “You’re at five minutes and thirty seconds now,” he said in a purr as he leaned in toward me. I felt his breath against my cheek, and my heart raced. “I’m going to start taking payment, and I choose how that payment is issued.” Before I could respond, Alice stirred groggily beside me. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Where are we?” “Good question,” piped Jaxon. “One that your friend here failed to ask, but it could have been because I rendered her speechless with my good looks.” Alice moved to get a better look at him, but he emphatically covered his face, as though he were a vampire trying to block the sun. “Don’t look at me!” he cried, then grinned as he winked at me. “I don’t want to make two ladies swoon in such a short period of time. How would I entertain myself tonight?” “You’re not that handsome,” I argued mulishly. “There’s drool on your chin. Either you’re physically unable to keep your mouth shut, or I caused you to forget how. Since when I found you, you were drool free, I’m going with the assumption that it was me.” He fished in his pocket and offered me a piece of white silk. “Here, a handkerchief for your trouble.”
If that doesn't make you want to go and read this book, maybe this picture of Jaxon (who is very swoony and an awesome romantic hero) will!
And without further adieu, here is the giveaway! :)
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