Author: Kristen Simmons
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: N/A, Standalone
Hardcover, 380 pages
Publication: September 20, 2016 by Tor
Source: I received a review copy from Saichek Publicity in exchange for a honest review.
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.
You guys, this book was freakin' amazing! Ah-mazing! After reading the synopsis I knew It was a book I needed to read. And I am so glad I did. Metaltown is a story about friendship, family, hope, and never giving up on your dreams. This book had it all.
Metaltown is a dystopian through and through; you have the feel and setting of the past, all the technology of the future, and a group of suppressed people who want a revolution. But I couldn’t help thinking about some of similarities the book had to hot topics nowadays as I read this book. It felt as if Simmons ripped out our news and incorporated it into the story. Which I will get to soon. As the title suggests, the main focus of the story is on Metaltown, a dilapidated city inhabited by the lower class echelon and full of bustling factories cranking out weapon parts to fund what felt like a never ending war. However, Metaltown isn’t the only city we see, readers occasionally found the characters in Bakerstown (middle class) and The River District (Upper Class) which was a stark contrast to Metaltown.
The book is narrated by three characters, Ty and Colin, two teenagers from Metaltown and Lena from The River District. The first character we met is Ty. Ty is by far my favorite of all the characters. Ty was a tough as nail chick and I immediately connected with her character right off the bat. She’s a hard worker, fiercely loyal to the core and isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with the guys or big slicks that run Metaltown. Next is Colin. At first glance, Colin seems like a cocky, laid back, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. But he was so much more than a pretty face. He is liked by all and is an all around good guy. What Colin wanted the most was a better life for his family and the people of Metaltown. He dreams big, an optimist and doesn’t let his present status/situation deter him from what he wants to accomplish. And finally there’s Lena, an heiress to the Hampton Empire who is living in a gilded cage. Lena seems to live a privileged life; she lives in a big house in The River District, her father owns all the factories, she has her own personal servant and tutor. And unlike the people in Bakerstown and Metaltown; she doesn’t have to worry about food or shelter. Except her life isn’t as perfect as it seems. Lena took some time warm up to. At the start of the book she was your typical rich girl, ignorant to the conditions of the working class but as the book progressed she took the time to learn about Metaltown, its factories and the people that live/work there.
As I mentioned before I thought there were so many similarities to what was going on in the book and what is happening right now. It was freaky how realistic it was, as if we were living in our own version of dystopia. There were two things that stood out to me. The first one is pretty obvious, genetically modified food. In this case, corn being the biggest staple. Since food and water is a scarce commodity, food isn’t properly tested and instead it is mass produced. This led to people getting sick or worse dying from the corn flu. We are surrounded by tons of GMO Food; it’s literally everywhere and in everything that we consumed. Secondly, as we saw with Hampton Industries and from Hampton's own mouth; War is profitable. This is a phrase I hear time and time again. In the story, Lena’s father owns all the factories in Metaltown and each factory specializes in a specific part that goes into producing more weapons and bombs for the war. Doesn’t it sound like our situation? We’ve been involved in a war for who knows how long and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change anytime soon. And we have war for exactly the same reason…because it’s profitable. I think there were more things, but I can’t remember what it was at the moment! But if you guys read Metaltown (you really should!), you’ll know what I mean.
Bottom line, I loved it! It was better than I expected and I felt that this book is very relevant to what is happening lately. Simmons did an incredible job with the world building and characters. The entire time I felt as If I was standing beside Ty, Colin and Lena as they fought and pressed against the Brotherhood. It usually takes me a while to connect with the characters and get invested into a story but she hooked me from the first page. And that ending! I did not see it coming, but then again after that revelation, I guess it was too good to be true. It was very bittersweet. As I said before this book had it all, if you love books about friendship, family and rebellion then this is the book for you! Metaltown should be on everyone’s must read list and a coveted spot on your keeper shelf!