Book 1 in the Periodic Series
By Megan Curd
Well! I mentioned that I was planning on doing some book reviews a while back, didn’t I? Steel Lily was the first book I purchased with the intent of doing a read/review, and I have to say–great choice! My first steampunk novel too, among other things. Keep reading for the review, as well as my personal tea recommendation to go with it. 🙂
Steel Lily took me about three weeks to read. The beginning was a little slow for me, although I acknowledged that the story WAS going places, and building up the intriguing world Avery Pike is a part of. I finished half of the book in that last week, so you can tell it really steamrolls after that. (It would have been faster, admittedly, if darn work didn’t get in the way of my reading!)
However, once mired in Curd’s war-torn image of the future, where some people have developed powers–powers that keep the domes they live in running, for fear of exposing everyone inside to World War III toxins outside–I stayed firmly rooted there.
Avery Pike is a great heroine. She’s spiky and a bit brusque, but she’s also pretty kick-ass and fearless, with sweet water/steam powers… Not to mention a pretty devoted friend. Her parents disappeared years ago, and she has no idea where they are, but she’s kept her mother’s metal teapot, so that tells you that she hasn’t given up all hope.
There’s a slight disconnect from the first part of the book and the second–a complete change of scenery, if you will, as well as the host of characters whom we will come to find are really important. Like oh, I don’t know, the story’s main love interest, Jax. Jax has dreads, which I really loved–I can honestly say I’ve never read about a MC with dreads, and the image rocked my world. Plus he has that charismatic bad-boy, stay-away-from-me-but-come-closer thing going on that I can never resist from my YA dudes.
When this book gets moving, it really gets moving–you suddenly turn a page to find yourself hip-deep in makeouts, betrayals, secrets, escapes, and death… Pretty much in that order. And then the book is done, and you’re blinking, like… wait, that’s it?! Darn! But there’s a lot of ledge there for the second book to take off from, so I’m looking forward to seeing those pieces put to good use in the second installment.
My only real negative comment would be the incredibly sparse use of Alice, Avery’s BFF. Avery always struck me as a loner, so every time they came into contact it felt strange. She didn’t play a huge part in the story overall, except as a way to show that ‘Traditionals’ don’t fare so well in a shadowy school for elementals. But I have a lot of hope that Alice will blossom into a MC, or at least a stronger secondary character, in book 2, Iron Pendulum.
The covers, by the way, are TOTALLY GORGEOUS–as you can see! They’re done by Mae I Design, which you’ll hear more about later…!
I was drinking this a lot while I read Steel Lily, which might have influenced my pairing… But ohwell! I still think it’s a totally appropriate tea.
“Brimming with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, a cup of our aromatic Bengal Spice® tea is like a trip to an exotic spice market in a faraway land. This adventurous blend is our caffeine-free interpretation of Chai, a piquant Indian brew traditionally made with black tea. Try Bengal Spice with milk and sugar for a true Chai experience.”
I DID, in fact, drink it with milk and sugar–the sugar because, well, I just can’t DRINK tea without sugar, but the milk was a nice addition, cutting what threatens to be an overwhelmingly spicy cup of tea into a nice cuppa chai. For some reason its intensity and sort of gritty basis (not gritty in actual drinking, though!) reminded me a lot of the book.
Because nobody in this book is what they seem, and neither is a cup of this tea.