Monday, September 1, 2014

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway (INT): Iron Pendulum (Periodic series #2), by Megan Curd

Hey guys and welcome to the blog tour hosted by InkSlinger PR for Megan Curd's Iron Pendulum, the second book in the Periodic series! I really enjoyed the first book, Steel Lily, and was part of that tour last year (read my review here). I'm very happy for the opportunity to be part of the tour once more!
Below, you can find more info on the book and author, my review, an excerpt, annnnnd a giveaway :)

Release date: August 28, 2014
Format: ebook, 285 pages

A month ago, Avery thought the world ended outside Dome Four. Thought she was one of the few of her kind. Thought the war that brought the human race to the brink of extinction was over.

But a month can change everything.

After fighting to escape a tyranny she didn't even know existed, Avery has had to come to grips with all the secrets she's uncovered. But more secrets continue to come to light, revealing how little of her world she truly knew. When evidence starts to show that Dome Four might be under siege, Avery knows what she must do.

Returning to the dome she longed to escape is a challenge for Avery, but now she knows there’s corruption lurking in the shadows. A massive steam shortage leaves half the dome without power, and people are falling ill. Dying.

And they’re blaming Avery.

A month can change everything. One more month could kill everyone. The clock is ticking. 

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. Photography, traveling and snowboarding are hobbies she loves, and she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.

Megan currently resides in Ohio with her husband and son, where she is trying to convert them into Buckeye fans.

The following review is based on an eARC of the novel provided to me by the tour organizer in exchange for my honest opinion.

Also - spoilers for Steel Lily ahead!! Read that one first, okay? I also apologize for the length. I've never been great at keeping the reviews short and I'm out of practice...

The ending of Steel Lily left Avery at the alliance headquarters reunited with her father but grieving the death of her mother. The beginning of Iron Pendulum picks up soon after that, so there is no gap between the two installments of the series. Avery and her friends are scouting out some tunnels between headquarters and Dome four, her former home, when they are attacked by a bunch of Zeros. In case you don’t remember, the Zeros are victims of radiation set off in the war and have also been experimented on my Xander, who fashioned them into his personal army. They are irrational, aggressive, and basically like zombies without the undead part.

There are also not supposed to be any new ones. Problem is, Avery recognized one of the Zeros as a former member of her class in Dome four. What’s more, Xander sent a message – he knows they’re down in the tunnels. Something is clearly afoot in Dome four, so Avery, Jax, and Alice are going back in (bugged, of course) to figure out in how far it is under Xander’s influence and what governor Lindroth is planning.

Avery had been gone for six months, and it quickly becomes obvious that the situation for people in the dome has gone from bad to worse during that time. Every day, people get sick, cough up blood, and die. Without Avery to provide most of the dome’s steam, the air filtration system had to be shut off more and more often, since the other Elementalists (among them her old nemesis Erin) cannot live up to her steam quota. Everyone, commoners and the governor alike, wants to know where she’s been, why she abandoned them to their fate. They are blaming her for their misery. The Polatzi forces violently break up mobs of protesters. And Avery definitely feels the pressure. The pressure to provide, to answer questions, to evade, to survive, to keep the secrets of the alliance safe despite threats to hurt her loved ones – and above all, the pressure to give people hope. That she’s smart-mouthed as ever and prone to cause riots does not always work to her advantage.

I really have to commend Avery for her bravery and her spine of steel, even though she’s a bit impulsive at times and can’t stay out of trouble. She has to deal with so much injustice and loss (I’m thinking of one death in particular, plus the ending – how could you do this to me, Megan Curd??)in this novel and she still gets up again and keeps going. I also enjoyed how despite some tensions that arise because Jax has to get close to evil Erin and Avery is supposed to weasel information out of Vince, the governor’s son, the relationship between Avery and Jax remains solid. They’re a team, they trust each other, they have each other’s back. So much unnecessary jealousy-drama could have been created from this situation, and I’m very glad that wasn’t the case! Also, the awesome snarky banter between Jax and Avery that I loved so much in Steel Lily is still there and sharp as ever!

As for Jax himself, I really liked that we get to see another side to him in this novel. He’s not just all smartassery and mechanic genius. Because they’re staying with a friend of Avery’s who is taking care of a bunch of orphaned little children, he has to learn to be kind and take care of those weaker than him. I will never forget the image of ‘Prince Jax’ having an imaginary tea party with the little girls. And a tiara on his dreadlocks.

As the days wear on and more people get sick despite Avery filling the steam canisters every day, questions arise. Why are the canisters empty every night when the steam should have lasted for a whole month? Where is that energy going? What’s the massive iron clock with its tick-tocking pendulum that now stands in the marketplace for? Is the governor just a power-hungry elitist, or is he in league with Xander? What’s up with all the Zeros in the Polatzi forces? Can Avery really count on the loyalty of all of her friends?

The pace of this book is fast and doesn’t leave space for lulls in action or a moment of boredom. Despite that, character development is not overlooked and there are short moments of ‘normalcy’ for Avery and her friends before the dome goes to hell in a handbasket again. I also really liked the addition of Vince as a character and that we get to see a bit more of Sadie. That girl’s a hacker genius and they’d be screwed without her.

One small complaint that I have is that I would have liked some more conversations and bonding between Avery and her father. They’ve been apart for so long, and I’d have liked to see them reconnect a bit more before Avery runs off to the dome again. Also, I’d have liked some more info about how the world came to be as it is, but I guess that will have to wait until the next book.

Apart from that though, this book is an awesome, action-packed ride! The ending was unexpected, and there are a couple twists I really didn’t see coming, as well as characters not turning out to be who you thought they were. Iron Pendulum continues the blend between post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, and fantasy with a heavy dose of snark that won me over in Steel Lily. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next!


Hint to you guys: every day, a different excerpt is posted - so it makes sense to follow the tour and check out some of the other blogs if you want to get more of a peek ;)

“I love the smell of crusty military men in a sewage tunnel,” Jaxon said as he crouched, ready to take on the first one that arrived. Fire began to form in the palms of his hands—the element he’d been able to control since taking a vial of my blood—and it crackled ominously, sending sparks everywhere. His element was as unpredictable as he was, and he was learning to control it quickly.

But he’d forgotten one little tidbit. We were standing in water, and I was a water Elementalist.

Oh, he was going to be so mad when his minstrels sang songs about me.

I focused all my energy on the rippling water around my ankles and felt a familiar zing of electricity in my limbs. The water bubbled, and there was a rumble behind us.

Jaxon caught on and dropped to his knees to cover his head, the fire disappearing into a turret of smoke. “You cheater!”

So, what do you guys think? Have you read Steel Lily and are eager for the sequel? Is this your first time hearing about the series? Any thoughts on the excerpt, or the premise of the books in general? Let me know in the comments :)


Follow the Tour
August 26th
Book Lovin' Mamas – Excerpt
Fabulous and Fun - Excerpt & Review
Once Upon a Twilight - Excerpt & Review
Coffee Books & Art – Excerpt

August 27th
A Book Vacation – Excerpt & Review
Becky on Books – Excerpt
Born To Read – Excerpt & Review

August 28th
Adventures in Writing – Guest Post & Review
In between The Pages – Excerpt & Review
Let Me Be Fictional – Excerpt & Review
Bibliophilia, Please – Excerpt

August 29th
Roxy's Reviews – Excerpt & Review
A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt & Review
Paperback Cowgirl Reviews – Excerpt & Review
SassyCat's Books Review – Excerpt & Character Playlist

August 30th
Book Sense – Excerpt & Review
Loves All Things Books – Excerpt & Dream Cast
Girl in the Woods Reviews – Excerpt & Review
The Small Nerd – Excerpt & Review

August 31st
Ashley's Paranormal Book Blog – Excerpt & Review
One Guy's Guide to Good Reads – Excerpt & Review
deal sharing aunt – Excerpt & Interview
Chibi Reader – Excerpt & Review

September 1st
GenGen's Book Blog – Excerpt & Review
Resch Reads and Reviews – Excerpt & Review
Shelfspace Needed – Excerpt & Review

September 2nd
Dowie's Place – Excerpt & Review
Istyria book blog – Excerpt & Review
The Bearded Scribe – Excerpt & Review

September 3rd
Addicted Readers – Excerpt
Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews – Excerpt & Guest Post
K.R. Grace – Excerpt & Review
Mercurial Musings – Excerpt & Review

September 4th
Avid Reader Musings – Excerpt & Review
Bookinfatuation – Excerpt & Review
Out of Time – Excerpt & Review
Morgan Wylie~Author – Excerpt

September 5th
Fabulous and Fun – Excerpt & Interview
A Cup of Coffee and a Book – Excerpt & Review

September 6th
The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Excerpt & Review
Write Away Bliss – Excerpt & Review
Racing To Read – Excerpt & Review

September 7th
Such a Novel Idea – Excerpt & Guest Post
The La La Land of Books – Excerpt & Review
paranormal book club ( PBC) – Excerpt & Review
The Book Beacon – Excerpt & Review

September 8th
Much Loved Books – Excerpt & Review
Life Between the Pages – Excerpt & Review
Reading on the Farm – Excerpt & Review
Shelves of Books/ Reading For Fun – Excerpt & Review

September 9th
Books for a Delicate Eternity – Excerpt & Review
The Bookie Monster – Guest Post & Review
Dizneeee's World of Books – Excerpt & Review

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