Welcome to the Steel Lily Blog Tour! Great Imaginations is thrilled to be a part of it as we love this author and the things she has written! Today we have a review for you (for the most part I really liked Steel Lily), an excerpt from the book, and then a giveaway. Also, I really, really love the cover of this book and I have to give a shout out to Mae I Designs for the lovely job she did. And thank you to Megan for allowing us to be a part of this tour!
Author: Megan Curd
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
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.
“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.”
Steel Lily was a really fun and exciting read. There was a fun steampunk/dystopian element here that made it stand out amongst the crowd. I loved the humorous tone to the writing even though the plot was a very serious one. I had some issues with the world building, but most of my experience with the book was a very enjoyable one.
What I really loved most about Steel Lily were the characters, and also, I think this is where Megan Curd excels most as an author. She is great at building chemistry between the protagonist and the love interest. She is also great at writing female friendships, and I know how hard that is to find in other YA books. So in spite of the few issues I did have, I highly recommend this book if you are looking for strong female relationships in a novel. Alice, Sari, and Avery were very strong characters that I found it exceptionally easy to root for. Also, Jaxon. He was funny, and his confidence was over the top but I never found him unlikable. On the contrary. It made me like him even more. He was the comic relief in a serious book and I loved him for it. Also important to note is that Jaxon is a POC so there is quite a bit of diversity here in the book as well.
So, with that out of the way, I feel I must mention the issues I did find with the world building, and you never know, these might be things that someone else might not even notice, but I need to note them. There is a part in the book where they leave one dome and arrive at another. How did this happen? I don't feel it was properly explained, or explained at all really. Also, I needed more information on the war and why Dome 4 decided to use steam and not electricity. What you find out at the end helps, but in some ways makes things even more confusing, but that could be deliberate, so who knows?
The only other nitpick I have is that some of the descriptions were hard for me to picture. Some of them were absolutely gorgeous in my mind but then something would happen in the text and my image would vanish. I am a very visual reader and I like to picture everything I am reading, so something like this bothers me. And if it happens in a pivotal action sequence (and it did), it becomes frustrating. But this is another thing that might not bother another reader because some readers are not visual at all.
All that being said though, I really did enjoy the story and found the book to be pretty exciting and unputdownable. If there had been a little more detail in the world building, this would have easily been a 4 star read for me.I will definitely read the next one because I really want to know what is going on with all the different domes and what the next step is in the plot. I'm also very invested in the characters and I want to see what happens with Jaxon, Sari, Avery, Riggs, Legs, and Alice.
About the Author: 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.
Grand Prize & First runner ups are US-only. eBooks are internationally welcome. Winners will be notified August 21st, and items will be mailed once shipments arrive to Megan to sign. Shipment notification and tracking numbers will be provided upon shipment of prizes. Must be 13 or older to win.