Saturday, August 30, 2014

Steel Lily (The Periodic Series #1) by Megan Curd Review

Hey readers and Happy Saturday! Thanks for stopping by to check out my review of Steel Lily by Megan Curd! Tomorrow, here on this very blog, I am hosting a blog tour stop for Iron Pendulum, book two in this series. I am very excited about that, but I wanted to review book one for everyone before I got to that point! This series was my first adventure into the Steampunk subgenre and I was beyond impressed! Before we get down to my thoughts, here's a little info about Steel Lily!

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.

Cover designed by Mae I Design

*Can I just add a note here that I am obsessed with the covers for this series. Seriously. They are amazing, and spot on!

Author photo   
About Megan Curd: 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. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play XBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself. Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.    

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My Thoughts:

Any of my regular readers will tell you that I am a reading machine. I push out books like it’s going out of style, especially this summer. I have loved all the variety I have come across this summer in my reading craze and I owe a lot of it to a new direction I wanted to take. I told myself I was going to step back for a little while and read some books that were “outside my norm”. First I hit Zombie books (and look where I am now, getting ready to start my 5th one. I have a problem) and now I have hit my second milestone: Steampunk. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure why I have veered away from Steampunk. I guess in my head I was just picturing a much more….. hipster kind of genre. Does that make sense? All I can think about when I think of Steampunk is cogs and big goggles. Oh hey, I was kind of right! J Steel Lily has been my very first foray into the Steampunk subgenre, and I have to say, I LOVE IT. AHHH!

So here’s the deal, I picked up Steel Lily on B&N a few weeks ago after having been selected to participate in the blog tour for Iron Pendulum (book 2 in the series). Generally I never join blog tours or promos for books that aren’t the first in a series that I am not familiar with. It just means I have a whole lot more work cut out for me and that usually doesn’t fit into my time constraints (especially in  a series such as this where each book is over 300 pages). I got my copies of Steel Lily and Iron Pendulum about a month ago, yet they just sat in my library. I really wasn’t all that excited about reading them, but I really can’t tell you why. With mere days until my blog tour, I told myself I needed to get reading. Well… I read them alright. I sat down and read the entire ~300 page Steel Lily in one sitting. The. Entire. Thing. Oh hey, then guess what? I did the exact same thing less than 24 hours later with Iron Pendulum. (But we will get to IP tomorrow!) You guys know how much work goes into to reading a book and it isn’t something I take lightly. The fact that I read the entire novel in one sitting, should be all the explanation I need to give right here!

Unfortunately I went straight into book 2 without pausing to write my book one review so I’m really having to be careful here to avoid spoilers!

This book was full of so many amazing quotes. Megan Curd really knows how to strike a nerve with her writing. She can have a scene FULL of suspense, action, and heartbreaking emotion, and still can add a line that makes you raise your fist in agreement! While I could share any of the near 20 quotes I highlighted from this novel, I’ll just share my favorite:

Her face was fierce, “If you don’t know what you’d die for, you haven’t lived passionately enough.”

That one quote made me seriously yell “YES!” at 3AM while I was reading. So true. So very true.
Back on the topic of Megan Curd and her ability to craft a heartbreaking emotion, dang… Curd hit me hard with a few of the scenes in this novel. There is one death that I honestly did not see coming and It was a hard fall to read guys! I’m still not entirely sure why it happened, and unfortunately I saw a huge parallel to another hugely popular YA series (one that we don’t speak of on this blog), but I hope that was just me being overly analytical! 

The themes Curd explores in Steel Lily are numerous and keep the story firmly planted at its’ roots without allowing it to become over-bearing. Survival, trust, the importance of family, self-preservation, loyalty, honor, etc I could go on and on. This one novel really did a great job of exploring so many things.

I am usually not a huge fan of the dystopian genre, but this novel really put a different take on it. The future United States (the 2080s) has been devastated by nuclear war and the surviving populations live under domes due to the atmospheric pollution. That was a neat twist on the futuristic setting! Our story takes place in both Detroit and in the Twin Cities, but I really don’t know that the city distinction was necessary. The way Curd has crafted her stories, it could be any two towns. Her visual descriptions are so detailed with perfection that I can see her world so easily when I close my eyes and imagine. It really is a testament to her writing style to describe such a beautiful gift.

This is my first Megan Curd novel, but I can assure you that I will be reading and all that come across my screen in the future. For my very first ever foray into the Steampunk genre, I am elated to give Steel Lily a solid 5 star rating. It (along with IP) have been placed on my “favorite reads of 2014” shelf! A spot they so rightfully deserve!

Where can you get yours?
ONLY $0.99!!
 (Went down in price since I purchased my copy!)
Alright guys, that's all I have for you guys on the topic of Steel Lily by Megan Curd! I know this is a little shorter than my usual posts, but I just wanted to give you guys a quick overview and review before my blog tour stop for Iron Pendulum tomorrow! Click on the IP cover below to be taken to my blog tour post! Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Reading!

Iron Pendulum high res Cover


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