Date of Publication: August 12 2013
Source: Review copy- thank you!
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.
Steel Lily is a book I've been meaning to read for a while, and after finally having finished it, I enjoyed it.
The world is really cool. People live in these giant domes because World War 3 destroyed the rest of the Earth and Avery's dome is the last one in existence. Within the domes lies a poverty filled world completely reliant on people like Avery- Elementalists. Instead of using electricity, steam is used and because Avery can make steam by manipulating the elements, she's the governments' most valuable tool.
Although there remain a few questions about the world and Avery's actions, I was pleased that the author realized these questions existed and even addressed them. Early on, Avery makes some very selfish choices and I was happy to see she was called out on them. I would have liked to have spent more time on this though- things Avery should be guilty for, the choices she did or didnt make, instead of feeling bad for other people's sacrifices for her.
This kind of contributed to me not really being into Avery. I didn't hate her, but she never really won me over either. I think she'll get there. The characters in general were all cool but missing that little extra bit. Alice was a great BFF and I want to see her get a chance to shine too. Her character has a charismatic personality but needs some time to become an active player, not just a liability. I liked Jaxon too, even if he was overly quippy at times. Avery is a good influence on him and I'd like to see his character grow. Their romance didn't bother me because it took time. Avery wasn't going to rush things, and Jaxon was willing to prove himself to her.
There are villains and heroes, and although it's a little too clear which is which at this point (ahem, after you finish the book) I want to know more about both sides. If there are two sides in a war, I like to see blurred lines. Some characters did blur the lines and I liked it. There were a few big twists too that blindsided me.
My main critique of Steel Lily is that I would like the story to slow down. So much is being introduced and it's exciting, but as a reader I need time to digest it. This book was nonstop action to the point where I felt a little overwhelmed as a reader because there was such an onslaught of stuff happening. A few scenes based on character development and just learning about the world would have helped a lot. This is however a very personal issue so take it with a grain of salt.
I was never bored. That's a highlight. I managed to read Steel Lily very quickly and the ending was definitely exciting.