[684]: Metaltown by Kristen Simmons

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Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
Tor Teen | September 20th, 2016
Source: Publisher, Finished Copy
Young Adult Fiction | Steampunk
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Metaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.

The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.

Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.

In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.

An enthralling story of friendship and rebellion, Metaltown will have you believing in the power of hope.


I have not had the most successful reading experiences with Kristen’s books in the past. Because I’m a romance reader first and foremost, I often found the lack of romance a detriment. Colour me surprised when Metaltown changed all that.

As what you’ve probably already know, this book is a brutal take on a world of absolute desolation. With a metal industry in the background, and a ruling caste intent on enslaving the poor, it was not the easiest book to get through. What it has an abudance of, however, are stories of survival and determination from the cast of characters. There’s something to be said about the torturous struggle the characters go through. I, as a reader, was able to feel a deeper appreciation for their successes – no matter how big or small. And because the world is not especially pleasant, you can say the characters have strong hearts and even stronger stomachs.

Kristen Simmons knows how to create a world out of the deepest despair you can imagine. There was never a doubt about that going into Metaltown. In fact, I braced myself for what was to come. This time around though, I savoured every single sliver of glittering metal shavings. It’s so effectively visceral that you can almost smell and taste the iron in the air.

Metaltown took me by surprise. It may  have started a bit slow at first, but once you get past that hurdle, it’s smooth sailing from there. If you like to read about underdogs exacting due justice to those who’ve wronged them, this book might give you a bit of satisfaction. I enjoyed the gritty world – no matter how difficult it was at times. I especially love Ty. She’s a spunky girl with a big heart even if the person who was supposed to watch her back treated her unfairly on more than one occasion.

  • Meh. I did not like this book. And I’m upset that you did, HAHA 😀 You are awesome, though, Joy. <3 And your review is lovely 🙂 This book just made me so upset and angry. Ugh. Though I do adore this author 😀 I just. I looooved Ty. Which is why I hated this book, haha. She got the worst deal of everything. Everyone treated her badly. Seemed like the author just hated her. Hmph. Oh, well 🙂

  • Like the cover, but great to hear that it surprised you and you ended up enjoying

  • Ohh, not usually a book I’d pick up either but it sounds very similar to the French civil war. I saw someone mention Les Mis in the comments below – and that’s EXACTLY the vibe I got from your review as well Joy. Very intriguing, I think I’ll need to check this one out!! xx

  • Like you I prefer to have
    romance in my books, so I wasn’t tempted to read this story. You definitely
    made me rethink it; I would probably give it a try. Wonderful review, Joy!

  • I’ve been eyeing this book off for so long and you’ve convinced me I need to pick it up sometime!

  • I loved the steampunk elements of this book but I wasn’t in love with the characters until I realized the parallels to Les Mis—then I was suddenly more invested.

  • RO

    Every time I see a book like this, it just makes me feel like it would be better as a movie to give a clear picture. (lol) Loved your review. Hugs…

  • Sounds interesting. I am attracted to a broken world stories. I haven’t read steampunk in sooo long. I may give this one a try. Thanks for the great review and intro.

    • Oh, wait. It’s YA? I don’t read much of that these days. Does the target audience really come into play? I’m guessing that I could live with it because of the lack of romance.

  • I knew I wanted to read this, steampunk!!!

  • Rummanah

    Great review! I’ve been curious to see if this book was all doom and gloom. I’m glad that it has bright moments too. I don’t know how a romance would survive in a world like this. I’ll have to pick this one up when I’m in the mood for a serious read.

  • Good to see that Kristen Simmons won you over with this book! I like that you able to get through the gritty moments too Joy!

  • I’ve never read steampunk, and honestly, I’d never heard of it before I began book blogging. I know I would enjoy it, because I enjoy movies like that–I think The Wild, Wild West and Sucker Punch, maybe In Time too, falls under that category right? I hope so, lol because I like those movies–they’re always fun and super imaginative. What’s a good book to start off with if you’ve never read steampunk?

  • I have this one on my wishlist because I love steampunk. So glad you enjoyed this one, Joy. I’m going to try to read this before the year ends.

  • Karen

    I wouldn’t have given this a second look were it not for this fabulous review.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • I’m thrilled you enjoyed this book, Joy! I love the gritty sound of it, and even though it is bleak at times, the characters sound fantastic.

  • I haven’t read anything by Kristen but I’m intrigued by this story. Seems really interesting. Awesome review! Glad you liked it 🙂

  • I’ve read a previous book of the author’s but was left fairly unmoved – I might give this one a go though!

  • Glad you enjoyed this. Loved the world building and was a huge Ty fan but not a fan of the romance 🙁

  • oh I do love a good gritty read….I will have to remember this one. Sounds like an author to love with all those details done so right.

  • This sounds great! And that cover is amazing! I haven’t read this author before but I may need to pick this one up. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Wow this actually sounds really good. I’ve seen this book around but I don’t if it was the cover or the title that didn’t peek my interest so I pretty much ignored it. I’m glad to see it’s actually worth the read! Great review <3
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  • This book reminds me of the Bioshock Infinite game which is set in Industrial America. I love the sound of it but I’ve heard that it drags so much. Lovely review Joy!

  • that’s great that you found a great world like that. I didn’t know about the book and haven’t tried the author but I think I should try

  • I’ve read a few mixed reviews on this one Joy, but I must say that I’m really looking forward to reading it. I love desolate worlds but like yourself, prefer a bit of romance to soften a storyline. You had me at spunk. Super excited to grab a copy now. You cost me a small fortune Joy! <3

  • I can do lack of romance as long as the book is good and it sounds like this one is just that, the whole setting sounds fantastic

  • shootingstarsmag

    I’m glad to hear this one really worked for you, and that despite a slightly slow start, it got better! I’m definitely really curious about this one and I’ve seen Kristen in person before and she’s just lovely.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • I don’t mind a lack of romance even though I enjoy it. I’m so going to have to pick this one up. I’ve been wanting to read her books more. I’ve only read Glass Arrow and I do think this one will definitely be on my wishlist.

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    Fantastic review. I have been curious about this one. I will definitely add it to my TBR list. I think I’d like Ty as well.

  • Jasprit

    Simmons’ previous books for me have been a bit of a hit and miss too, but your review has me super excited about giving this book a go. Lately books that I wouldn’t normally pick up are really working for me, so I think this one could really work for me too, also I do love a good underdog story! Lovely review as always!

  • I wasn’t a fan of her author books, but I’ve been so curious about this one. Glad it was good!

  • I am happy it picked up 🙂

  • I have yet to read any of her books and have been on the edge about this one. I have a copy but the reviews have not been the greatest. Your review makes me reconsider picking it up. I love a good romance too but I’m guessing this one doesn’t have much? Also I remember being confused with the characters (or was it their names?) when I was reading the synopsis. Something seemed confusing…lol

  • I’ve only read Glass Arrow but I really liked that one. I was thinking of checking this one out at the library and you just convinced me!

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    Huh, I wrote this off because of Simmons too, but perhaps I should give it a try! I enjoyed The Glass Arrow by her but Article 5 was a DNF for me so I wasn’t sure where this would fall but I’m glad you enjoyed it, Joy! Thanks for convincing me to give this one another try. Wonderful review, dear! 🙂

  • I read The Glass Arrow by this author and I head over heels loved it. I loved the gritty, dark world, and it sounds like the world of Metaltown is no different which is why I am so eager to try this one as well. I’m also looking forward to this surprise in her style. Her novels always seem to start slow, so I’ll be prepared for it. Great review x

  • I like some dystopian books and I do love a romance in most of what I read. That being said, I wonder if this book would just make me mad and/or upset for the characters. I am all about happily ever afters these days. Or at least the hint of one to come. I am however, glad it ended up being a good read for you!

  • kindlemom1

    Wonderful review Joy! I really think I would like this, while I too love romance (in almost anything I read) I really love a good dystopian apocalyptic type read too. I think I’ll be adding this one. 😉