Christie's Reviews > Steel

Steel by Carrie Vaughn
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Aug 07, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, fantasy, young-adult, time-travel, 18th-century, kick-ass-heroines, picked-up-because-of-cover
Read from July 31 to August 04, 2011

This is the story of a teenage fencing champion named Jill who finds an old pirate sword on a Caribbean beach and is transported back 300 years to the age of swashbucklers and pirate ships. She makes lots of new friends and finds out that real pirates aren't quite as glamorous as the movies would have you believe. Jill learns lessons about trust and having confidence in one's abilities.

I enjoyed the book. The character of Jill is one many people, especially those who are currently or were teenage girls, can relate to with her feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence. I loved that the book tried to stay close to what the historical record actually has to say about pirates and didn't rely on Hollywood interpretations that are so familiar to us. The book really shows that day to day life on a pirate ship was not all sword fights and treasure burying, but could actually get pretty boring. I also liked that the book showed that piracy was not just the domain of men. It included many female characters, both real and fictional, who held their own in the pirate world.

My problem with the book is that it was really weak on explaining how things happened. It explained a bit about the magic sword, but the explanations raised more questions than answers. In some ways it would have been better if the author just said the sword is magic and left it at that instead of a half-hearted attempt at explaining it. Another problem I had with the book is that the character of Jill seemed much younger than 16 years old, but that's not a huge issue and really doesn't matter that much to the story anyway.

Reading Scavenger Hunt: Magic Wand
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Reading Progress

08/02/2011 page 181
60.0%

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