Author: Carrie Vaughn
Expected publication: March 15th 2011 by HarperTeen
Summary: "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.
Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn."
Thoughts: The first thing I want to mention is how stunning I think the cover is. It's what originally drew me to the book. Carrie Vaughn was indeed blessed by the cover gods!
Pirates? Time travel? Fighting? Oh my! To any fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and historical fiction, this book will definitely intrigue you. I love the originality of the story line and the creativity it takes to write a novel like this. Sadly though, I thought Steel was an okay read. The book is well-written, but I just couldn't get into it.
First off, I don't fence, so I didn't understand a lot of the techniques Jill (the main character) discussed when fencing or fighting. I didn't realize it till after I finished, but the back of the book contains a dictionary, helping you understand what each move and "pirate slang" means. I wish I had known about this before reading because that would have helped me imagine what was going on just a bit better than I did.
Next, I'll be honest, it took me a little while to get into the book. When I finally did, I just wasn't invested enough in the characters to really enjoy it as much as I would have liked. It was fun and interesting, but a little drawn out for my taste.
Lastly, everyone knows what a fan I am of romance. A book has to have some romance in it for me to get into it. With Steel, the romance just fell a little flat. It was sweet, but lacking chemistry. Plus, there wasn't enough of it. Imagine watching Pirates of the Caribbean, but having the romantic couple be more buddy-buddy rather than a hot and steamy couple. That's how it felt to me.
This doesn't necessarily mean I hated the book. No, on the contrary, there are things I did enjoy about Steel. I mean, there wasn't just one, but TWO awesome heroines! Who doesn't love girls that kick serious butt? Plus, I love that Carrie includes true Caribbean pirates in her novel. I'm a huge supporter of diversity in YA, so that was a nice, beautiful touch. And the fighting scenes? They're amazing. Very vivid and flows nicely into the plot.
Overall, in my opinion, I think Steel was a well-written book, but just not the book for me. Though I did not enjoy Steel as much as I would have liked, that doesn't mean it might not be the book for you. If you're a fan of action books filled with loads of pirate goodness, than check it out. You may love Steel. Like I said, it's creative and fun, but just wasn't my personal cup of tea.