Monday, March 21, 2011

Steel Review

Author: Carrie Vaughn
Release Date: March 15, 2011
Pages: 304 (ARC)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Most Appropriate For Ages: 14+
Where I Got It: For review from ATWT

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.
I enjoyed Steel. It could've been better, but it was by no means bad either.

These ain't your movie pirates. Vaughn's pirates are much more realistic...and I liked that. Don't get me wrong, I like movie pirates too, but one can only hear the cheesy phrase, "shiver me timbers!" so many times before eyes roll, so it was nice to get a glimpse of something that's closer to the real deal.

Jill was a decent protagonist and she grew a decent amount. But she was just that: decent. Not great. I never really felt like I knew her as well as I'd like, and occasionally she would just do some Random Act of Stupid that I didn't get. Her love interest was Henry, and I really liked his character. He was fun, but he could also be serious when needed. But I found his and Jill's romance to be lacking. There really wasn't much romance at all, honestly. It was probably my biggest complaint about the novel.

Overall, Vaughn delivered a well-paced adventure, full of pirate-y goodness. It wasn't a memorable read, but it was entertaining.

Book Report:
Plot: Unique and well-paced.
Characters: Jill was OK, but the rest were good.
Writing: Took me some time to get into it, but it was good.
Ending: Very good. Wrapped everything up really nicely.
Kid friendly? There's a little swearing, and some piracy (duh), but it was a pretty safe read.
Should I read it? Yeah, especially if you like pirates.


  1. It seems like everything about this novel was just okay for you. I really like to be swept away by romance--especially in a pirate novel-- so I can see why you were disappointed when it didn't do that for you. Thanks for the review!

  2. I have really high hopes for this book! But I'm a bit sad to hear that it is lacking in the romance department..

  3. I'm actually glad it's not overflowing with romance. I've kind of had enough romance for now. I can't wait to read this one!


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