Friday, 16 August 2013

Review (ARC)~ Steel Lily (The Periodic Series 1) - Megan Curd

Steel Lily (The Periodic Series, #1)
eARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 20th August 2013
  Publisher: Self-published

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 Four: 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 Four. 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, she learns that while some secrets are better left concealed, 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.

My Opinion

I'm really struggling to make my mind up with this book. On one hand I liked certain aspects while on the other it didn't really capture my interest as much as I thought it would. I'm not sure if I went in expecting too much after seeing all of the five star reviews but for me I think I'm swaying towards feeling slightly let down. It started and ended well but for me the middle fell flat and didn't deliver as much action as I would have hoped.

First of all the world building in the book was great. Megan Curd describes everything in detail so you can imagine it perfectly. I did feel it was a little excessive at times but when introduced to a new setting for the first time it definitely puts a clear picture of the surroundings in your mind and grounded you in the novel. I liked the colours and senses used to describe the world but I'm still not sure what all the cogs were about though...

As well as this I also liked the Elementalist part. It's one of my new favourite paranormal aspects right now so this was the main reason I agreed to review this book. I liked how the powers developed throughout and Avery became stronger but I would have liked a little more detail on them and the other Elementalists. There were brief moments but after mentioned once you very rarely met them again. Such as Kloey, I loved the scene with her in the dining room but after that, I don't think she appeared other than in conversation at the end.

One thing I think was clever was how the author tied the title into the book. I didn't expect Steel Lily to carry a meaning outside of the title but I liked that it was a subtle metaphor carried throughout the book. 

OK, so now the issues I had with Steel Lily. The main one was age of the characters, especially Jaxon. Jaxon was made out to be this hot, muscly guy but then he was revealed to be sixteen? It just didn't fit with characteristics and I think he was pitched too young. In fact all of the characters seemed too young and I couldn't help but imagine them around 18/19. Their mannerism, physical descriptions and attitudes were all older than they were created at and to me it felt wrong, especially in the romance (which I wasn't too keen on, it felt awkward). Also Jaxon had dreadlocks and not that I have anything against that but for me that made him the opposite of the 'hot hero'. 

As well as this the author used a lot of idoms "rose tinted glasses" etc throughout the novel. I can handle a few but there seemed to be an excessive amount in Steel Lily and I found them slightly irritating as they are so common. Also a lot of times they were used it was when characters were giving advice and once again it made them older than they were supposed to be. As well as this I  wasn't keen on the banter between the characters as I didn't find it funny. 

While on the topic of writing there were a few continuity errors. I didn't understand how Avery and Alice would recognise carbon fibre and silk if they had been living in dome 4 all of their life where they were just scraping by. I also didn't understand how she could have not recognised Legs straight away. There were a few others as well that just led me to ask questions as it didn't make sense. This was an ARC though so I hope these have been caught in the final stages of editing.

Overall I'm really undecided about Steel Lily. I think the description is good but for me the pace was too slow and could not hold my interest for a long time. I was reading it in bits, rather than getting immersed. For me it lacked any 'wow factor' and I feel it's just an average story. It's enjoyable as I wanted to finish it but was average.

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