Steel Lily by Megan Curd: Frodo’s Review
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.
I received an eBook Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review.
You know what really sucks? Having to cancel being on a blog tour because you don’t like a book. That, in case it wasn’t painfully obvious, is the case here. My review was supposed to go up today and be linked up and all that jazz to tout this piece. Well poop. I figured I’d post my review the same day anyway because why the heck not? Oh, did I mention it is a DNF? This is going so well…
I pushed myself through 50% of the book (according to my Kindle app anyway) until I was fed up enough and closed the darn thing. Why did I give up on Steel Lily and what are the problems with it? The characters are not cookie cutter, they are THE cookie cutter which cuts out all of the others, they are the metallic shells of characters and are hollow on the inside.
Avery, the MC, is incredibly frustrating. She flip flops like crazy, her emotions all over the place and without any semblance of purpose for them half the time. She’s constantly on the verge of tears despite having this “tough girl” persona she’s trying (and failing miserably) to pull off. She gets upset when people try to protect her, refuses to acknowledge it a lot of the time or plays up her actions over theirs in an attempt to appear in control and strong, yet she always acts helpless when the danger strikes. Ugh. Oh and the whining my goodness, get over yourself! She constantly insults other characters, can’t make up her mind for beans, and goodness gracious just GET A GRIP GIRL. I want to throttle her.
Jaxon is your stereotypical hot guy that KNOWS how hot he is, sarcastic, full of himself, you get the point. But he has that inner core that must be so soft and squishy and he can be changed really he can! He just needs help to show his real feelings! *gouges my eyes out* His jokes are bland, he isn’t interesting whatsoever and I just plain didn’t like his character. The best friend, Alice, is no better. She’s reserved one minute and a fireball the next, and her character is never fleshed out in any way. She’s just there, supportive and more often than not a liability, even if no one will admit it.
The romance in the book felt forced. Avery kept saying how attractive she found Jaxon but then would argue with herself about liking him when he’s such an asshat. Just admit he is good looking and that you like him already! You have bad taste in guys but it is your incessant bickering in your head that is bugging me not that you like his muscles, (which apparently are RIPPED on his whole freaking body) ugh. Jaxon, at least, made it clear how he felt early on which was the only thing I appreciated from his character. There was a half-assed love triangle too, but it’s barely worth mentioning.
The plot was as scattered as Avery’s emotions. You constantly jump from one idea to the next as if the author had a bunch of bullet points on a piece of paper and was playing connect the dots. Only this time I don’t know what the heck the shape is supposed to be, it’s just a jumbled mess of lines. There were potential arcs everywhere: political discussion, dystopia, energy discussion, conservation, true freedom vs false realities, the list just keeps going. The problem is Curd couldn’t decide which thing to focus on so she said tiny bits about each instead which meant the reader really gains nothing from it.
Oh and this is supposed to be a steampunk book. While I noticed those elements it really was borderline with going into regular fantasy. The MC just focuses her mind (and power) on things and BOOM. Yes she is “changing elements” so I get the connection, but as I was reading I kept thinking this is more like a superhero unable to control their power or learning how to, I didn’t think that was what steampunk was designed to do. Maybe I’m off base there. Regardless, while there were some descriptions of machinery and what not the steampunk “feel” was never there for me.
I could keep going, about the world building and the domes, the hologram nonsense, the repetitious dialogue (SO MUCH), and a variety of other details about the piece but you get how I feel by now. I didn’t like it. I didn’t finish it. I don’t recommend it. That simple. If you follow the blog you know I hardly ever DNF books but this one deserved it. I’m done. Thanks as always for reading.
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #126/200