Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Steel Victory” as Want to Read:
Steel Victory
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Steel Victory

(Steel Empires #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  24 reviews
One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the hu
Paperback, 215 pages
Published July 2nd 2015 by Dog Star Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Steel Victory, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Steel Victory

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  63 ratings  ·  24 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Steel Victory
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dog-star-books
Note: I was involved in publishing this book

Steel Victory takes place in what I like to think of as an alternate future where magical creatures such as vampires, shapeshifters and elves have always existed and still do. It's also post-apocalyptic because there has been a nuclear disaster in the past. Although this book is in the future, technology has been mostly eliminated and magic rules the day.

The style is an intricate weave of urban fantasy and alternate history with a lot of the elements
I’m in between ratings with this one (2/3). While it was a story that went through the motions with a lot of action and new twists and turns, it just didn’t really pull me in for some reason.

From the get go I was thrown into action, from the get go there was a lot of stuff happening and I felt I needed to be super attentive to make sense of all the past, present and future political, personal and historical arrangements. There was quite a bit to take in and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I gu
David Brawley
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, 2016
tldr: 4.5 stars - fascinating mixed genre world, very RPG-able, and spurs some DMing advice at the end.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reviewer e-copy of this book from the author, who is both a friend and one of the players in my Friday night D&D game.

It's very difficult to pigeonhole this book into a single genre. It's a post apocalyptic story, set in a city at the edge of the american wasteland after some nuclear war (WWIII?).

It's an alternate history, not just because of this war, but al
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm submitting a review of this that due to scheduling probably won't be up for awhile, and even then I'll just be able to put a link in here to it. So for the time being, something short:

This is a tightly paced novel (no bloat here) that combines elements of alternate history with urban fantasy - think supernatural characters as you'd see in a Charlaine Harris novel but within an alt history present-day world that is one part anachronistic to our reality, one-part post-apocalyptic. As with man
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Disclaimer: I'm friends with the author (and wish I were friends with her cats).

This review is super late because I have issues with time. :/ I haven't read much alternate history, but it turns out that I love it! I really enjoyed the political issues facing Limani and how those issues intersected with the tension between magic users and anti-magic humanists. And, of course, the kick-butt heroines. Victory and Toria are awesome separately, each fighting their own battles, but it's Gribble's atte
Genevieve Eldredge
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
STEEL VICTORY was everything I'd hoped for--an alternate history/fantasy/dystopian vampire novel with exciting, fast-paced battle sequences set against a backdrop of thorny supernatural politics.

While the vampires and other supernatural creatures adhere to standard tropes, this approach freed up the narrative to be more personal--centered on the characters, their plights, and the conflict they must overcome--rather than on info-dumping.

The female characters are front and center, and these ladi
Melissa Eisenmeier
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Steel Victory was good. Buy it on my website.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
Steel Victory takes place in a future where magical creatures have always been the norm, and still are, even after the apocalypse. The story features Victory (a vampire), who has to deal with the fact that the future of her beloved town of Limani, alongside everything she holds dear, is being threatened. I rushed into it with a large dose of anticipation, but, for some reason, I just didn’t feel any kind of connection with the story
Kristopher Campa
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely one of the best debut novels I've ever read. It combined wonderful elements of fantasy, alternative history, action, character development into a really fun read. Will definitely be sharing this with friends. ...more
Andrew Saunders
Interesting. Easy read. Hard to understand the world with just this first book. Also hard to understand the magic system.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
This is a doozy to know how to categorize -- it's Post-Apocalyptic (but not really dystopian), it's Futuristic (but little tech and everyone uses swords), it's Urban Fantasy (but, pretty different from what you've seen before). Basically, this is the kind of thing that
Mike Underwood has been talking about
, the kind of thing that Angry Robot does so well when they list 3 or 4 sub-genres on the back of a book. So, you'l
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Okay, so this was an interesting but uneven read. The writing itself is polished; clearly the author spent a lot of time making sure the writing was smooth. The prose isn't fancy, but it's good solid workhorse prose that gets the job done, which was exactly what it needed to be.

Where this book fails is in the actual world-building. Too much was going on, as if the author was throwing in everything she thought was cool, without thinking of the implications of how it all fit together. There's a ci
K.T. Munson
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it

Victory, Toria, and Mikelos are all interesting characters. I liked Max and Seri as well. It was interesting to see all the different creatures from vampires to elves integrated into a 'normal' society. However, most of the characters' actions and unique personalities seemed forced at times and didn't line up. They didn't seem terribly complex either, but neither were they one-denominational. They just didn't have that special something that really sparked my interest. Despite their so
Todd Moody
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
J. L. Gribble has created a captivating alternate reality in her debut novel, full of magic and vampires and were-creatures. The story centers around a centuries old female vampire named Victory and her adopted family, and the city-state she's cultivated as a safe zone between the British and Romans empires.

Victory has tried to step back in her control of the city politics, but as often happens, subversive elements creep in and try to undermine all she has accomplished. A new Roman Emperor also
Jaffa Kintigh
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
An uneven smorgasbord of fantasy and urban fantasy tropes jumble together in a post-nuclear apocalypse setting. A millennia after the nuclear war, society has reformed with humans, elves, vampires, mages, and were-creatures of all sorts. The political entities are the New World Greek city-state of Limani and the British and Roman Empires somehow revived after the wars. This unlikely mix stretches the suspension of disbelief to the breaking point in its refusal to world-build with any sort of coh ...more
Garon Whited
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Short form: Good stuff. Mixed-genre world, vampire heroine, shapeshifters, political intrigue, magic, and great characters.

By mixed-genre, I mean fantasy, post-apocalyptic, alternate history, urban fantasy, and paranormal. It's like Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" meets Ilona Andrews' "Kate Daniels" series. Only complicated.

So we've got a city (Limani) with a humanist bent and a vampire mercenary/heroine as a political figure. She's got a lot on her plate, obviously, what with being stuck between
K.W. Taylor
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I am friends with the author of this book, and we share a publisher. STEEL VICTORY is the sort of book I would devour anyway, and eagerly so. Part alternate history, part urban fantasy, and part quasi-dystopian science fiction, this book tells the story of conflict on both large and small scales through the eyes of mother and daughter Victory (a centuries-old vampire) and Toria (half of a warrior-mage duo with her friend Kane). Both women have battles to fight, internal and external. ...more
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban_fantasy
The most unique feature of this debut novel is the setting--a highly creative mélange of genres (contemporary, fantasy, mystery, alternate history, to name a few) best described as postmodern urban fantasy. Strong characters and world building (free of info-dumps) and a lot of original touches. (I especially liked the ‘daywalker’ concept and the magic system.) The story unfolds much like a mystery, starting with an opening action scene you’d expect in a James Bond film, with plenty of clues, hin ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Steel Victory is a unique and entertaining novel that crosses several genres - alternate history, coming of age, sci-fi and paranormal.

The world is in a post-apocalyptic era after a nuclear war destroyed much of the world. Twenty years ago, Victory, a vampire, adopted a human baby, Toria. Toria has magical powers. Now, Victory is trying to lead her city, while Toria is a warrior protecting the land and going to college.

There is a invasion, political upheaval and and uprising putting so much in
Arec Rain
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started this novel. I haven’t been reading vampire novels recently simply because of how overdone and cliché they have become. However, this novel is so much more. Vampires may be listed in the synopsis, but they are only a small part of the story.

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes this novel so enjoyable. The only complaint I have is how short it is. If I didn’t know this was part of series, I would be heartbroken. Filled with interesting character le
Tom Kollman
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have two disclaimers. First, I’m a friend of the author. Second, a genre-bending supernatural-fantasy alternate-history adventure is right in my wheelhouse – there was no way I wasn’t going to love this.
The novel’s structure is unusual. There are no chapters, and only section breaks to show a change in point-of-view between the two main characters or a passage in time. This initially threw me not to have those familiar mileposts in the narrative. Instead, Gribble’s crisp writing and sharp char
Diana Botsford
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A delicious blend of genres from urban fantasy to sword & sorcery. Readers will greatly enjoy this deviously raucous romp through a modern world filled with were-creatures, mercenaries, and Victory — a fanged kickass heroine who must squelch her adopted city’s political divisiveness before the Roman Empire can break down the proverbial gates and tear her world apart.
Jen Brooks
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This fantasy has a fascinating combination of elements. Vampires, were-creatures, and mages are the supernatural in a setting that feels something more than timeless—more like past, present, and future all at once. Author J.L. Gribble clearly has a passion for, and command of, the genre.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Good start to a new series - lots of world building, character introductions, and a battle.
Kaye Angelica
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2015
Shey Olten campa
rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2015
Mary Mascari
rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2018
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2016
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
  • These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901
  • The Wedding Guest (Alex Delaware, #34)
  • Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun
  • Katrina: After the Flood
  • Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #2)
  • Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3)
  • Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4)
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March
  • Release
  • Beating About the Bush (Agatha Raisin, #30)
  • Our Wayward Fate
  • Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, #1)
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
  • Winterwood
  • So Lucky
  • All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)
  • Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You
See similar books…
By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing.

Previously, Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Steel Victory was her

Other books in the series

Steel Empires (5 books)
  • Steel Magic
  • Steel Blood
  • Steel Time
  • Steel Shadows

Related Articles

Sarah J. Maas is an author who almost needs no introduction, at least in the world of young and new adult fiction. She's a multiple New York...
220 likes · 27 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »