From Goodreads: 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.
If you love dystopian, elemental, or steampunk reads, then this is definitely the book for you. Combining all these genres into one, Megan Curd has created a masterpiece that glues readers to the pages from the very beginning, taking them on a whirlwind journey full of adventure, deceit, mystery, mayhem, and of course, a little swoon-worthy romance as well.
Avery Pike doesn’t know how she got her power to control water. She doesn’t know what happened to her parents, either. What she does know is that the government needs her, and they’ve given her a flea infested bed in a run down apartment and an education, which might not sound great, but it’s better than what most of the population gets. In return, she needs to create steam in order to keep Dome 4 alive. Fair trade? Maybe not. Because Avery’s been kept in the dark for much too long.
Curd drops her readers into the world of Dome 4, populating the pages with riveting descriptions and situations that help make Avery’s world tangible and real. The corrupt government, the dire living situations, and the intense rules and regulations make the story come alive as readers watch in horror as the powerful abuse the weak. Thus, it is with open arms that the reader welcomes the appearance of Riggs, a strange man offering Avery a chance for escape and, like Avery, the reader is baited into believing her luck is about to change. But trading one prison for another isn’t what she expected. And as it turns out… nothing is as it seems in this novel.
Enter Jaxon, dear, sweet, Jaxon. It took me a little while to warm up to his pompous nature in the beginning, although his wit and clever banter made me snicker and fall for him quite quickly. It is also because Curd expertly unveils his true inner soul as we get to know him, and it becomes clear that his hard external self-important demeanor is actually only a cover for a much deeper scar that lies beneath his put-together frame. The fact that his father, Riggs, has never treated him with any amount of dignity is part of the problem. The vast tests, pricks, and prods he endured as a child makes up the other part. And yet, he is truly a loving young man who, though suffering through multiple ordeals as a child, has turned out to be one fine young gentleman. And a swoon-worthy one at that.
Honestly, all the characters in this novel are exceptionally well developed, and I loved that Avery is a strong willed female lead who doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Her loyalty to her friends, Alice and Legs, also makes her an exceptional and likable character, and her sheer will power makes her a force to be reckoned with. Though both Alice and Legs struggle a bit in the story, especially with coming to terms with some rather disheartening events, their struggles show their depth, and Curd has done a phenomenal job fleshing out these side characters. What I love the most is that there are absolutely no flat characters in this novel—everyone changes, in some way, and that takes talent.
Curd also keeps this novel relatively clean, making it the perfect recommendation to give to readers of all ages, but especially YA and, in my case, my students. With both a strong female and male lead, this book isn’t just for girls, and with it’s unbiased, yet beautiful cover, I expect to see this one eaten up by readers male and female alike. Five stars.
I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A hand grasped my shoulder.
“Nope, Jaxon. Although, I can understand why you’d confuse the two of us.”
I clutched my chest and felt my heart threatening to pound its way out.
He didn’t show his usual conceited visage. His cheeks were flushed, giving him a much younger appearance. His head was turned downward, but his eyes held mine. “Can I borrow you?”
“I have people in line before you. I can pencil you in around midnight.”
He didn’t flinch. “Then midnight it is.”
“Are you kidding?”
“I never joke about midnight rendezvouses with fiery beauties.”
“You’re a torrent of sarcasm.”
“That’s vastly different than kidding. Kidding is frivolity, and I am not frivol. Is that even a word? If it isn’t, insert something else—serious…brooding, perhaps?” He turned to the side and stroked his chin. “Does this look brooding to you? Wait, don’t look. You’re over your five minute ogling allotment.”
“You do know that sarcasm is the refuge for a shallow mind, right?”
“Depth is irrelevant when you can’t find the lake, my dear.”
I opened and closed my mouth, unable to think of a comeback. He always one-upped me. One day I’d come up with something. I’d start writing comebacks down to practice for when the occasion arose. Because that’s not lame at all.
Guest Post: This or That—From Jaxon’s POV
Vanilla or chocolate? ::grins:: well, you know you could have both if you go with me. Why choose one or the other when you can have both?
Edward or Jacob? Say what? Who? How about Jaxon? I’m right here, and they don’t have dreads. Or, can I pick from girls? ::dodges Avery’s death stare:: Okay. I pick Avery. I mean, it’s not like Katniss’s deadly aim with a bow and arrow is all that appealing…I’ll take death by Elementalist any day. ::Pats Avery’s leg::
Hockey or soccer? Football. I’m making my own option. Don’t worry, I do it all the time. ::smiles::
Ebook or paper? Paper. I love the feel of a book in my hands. Plus, without much power, the eBook wouldn’t last that long, now would it?
Salty or sweet? Salty. I’m the sweets anyone needs. ::winks::
Beach or mountains? Mountains. I want to camp and see wildlife. I want to see trees and wake up to a real sunrise. Someday, maybe that can happen.
Phone call or email? Neither. I want to see people in person!
Early bird or night owl? Night owl. I do some of my best work at night. ::looks over and winks at Avery:: Get your mind out of the gutter. I meant real work!
Dog or cat? Cat. They’ve got minds of their own, and I can respect that.
Messy or neat? ::points to dreads and shakes head:: Do these look neat to you? I like a bit of disorder in my life. Makes more sense to me.
Ninjas or pirates? Well ninjas, obviously. I have my own ninja! ::nudges Avery::
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.
Top Ten Books on TBR
1.) Prodigy by Marie Lu
2.) Allegiant by Veronica Roth
3.) This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink
4.) Raksha by Frankie Rose
5.) Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
6.) Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
7.) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
8.) Splintered by A.G. Howard
9.) Enemy Within by Angeline Kace
10.) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
And now for the Giveaway:
What you can win:
GRAND PRIZE: 1 Steel Lily T-Shirt, Autographed Steel Lily book, & bookmarks
3 Runner-Ups: Autographed Steel Lily books & bookmarks
5 Runner-Ups: eCopies of Steel Lily
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