Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Steel

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.
This was the tip of a rapier.
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.

My Review: When I first saw the cover for this book I  immediately wanted to read it.  Sword play? Hell yes!  For some reason I got it into my head that this was a swashbuckling adventure with a girl defying societies stringent rules and sailing on the high seas.  Clearly I should have read the synopsis.  Not to say that it wasn't good, but it ended up being something completely different from what I expected. 

I've always wanted to fence.  If I ever participated in some form of competitive competition it would be fencing.  Or archery.  XD  I of course really loved Jill's background.  Fencing is not exactly common and I really enjoyed Jill's competitive spirit.  The reader really doesn't get to see too much of Jill's competition life, but the duel at the beginning was very interesting to read about.  Getting into the mind of a fencer was really cool to say the least. 

It's safe to say that I adore pirates.  I love Pirates of the Caribbean, okay, correction.  I love Johnny Depp who happens to play the most brilliant pirate ever, so I naturally loved the story.  I really appreciated all the research that went into this book.  For instance, I didn't know that pirate ships were some of the first forms of democracy and captains were voted on by the crew.  It's not often that I learn an interesting piece of information from a novel so I really appreciated the effort to make this historically accurate. 

What really bothered me about this book was the fact that Jill's time traveling is never explained.  Sure the sword is the key to the time travel, but WHY?! It seemed like the time travel aspect was inserted just for the sake of having time travel.  Alright, that's all well and good, but it did not make for an intriguing story.  Plus, well, time travel stories just NEVER end the way I want.  Complications always arise with the MC becoming torn between the two worlds and usually there's a guy involved and just blah.  Though there is a guy, nothing serious ever happens, which I was kind of grateful for.  I cannot stand cross-time love affairs.  Yet at the same time, I almost wanted Jill to become emotionally attached to SOMETHING.  When the time comes for her to return to her own time she's not even sad.  Overall the story was lacking any emotional connection, so this shouldn't have surprised me, but I was just disappointed with the lack of inner turmoil. 

The justification for the events that happened in the course of the story were completely lacking.  Not only the time travel aspect but the power of the sword itself.  There's vague mention of blood magic but boy was it VAGUE.  The same can be said for the villain of the novel.  I just felt that the story lacked fleshing.  There was no depth to anything that happened.  It just felt like Jill was there for the ride and wasn't invested in the story at all. 

While I enjoyed Jill's character and the story in general, there was really nothing that screamed "amazing" to me.  I wasn't invested in the story and I only vaguely cared what happened.  I just feel that if the story had been set in the 18th century like I initially thought it would have been a lot more interesting.  Even if it was set in the present and focused on Jill's fencing it would probably have turned out better.  I don't mean to be harsh, but honestly the time travel kind of killed any  potential this story had. 


flanpnhfpnanfnFN said...

I've been a sceptic about this one. I love Johnny Depp as a pirate too...but other than that i've never really liked reading about them at all. So when I heard about this one i was thinking I'd let it pass me by.

I'm sorry you didn't like this one Ky! Thanks for the review :)