Review | Steeplejack

Title: Steeplejack
Author: A.J. Hartley
Publication: June 14th, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Received an E-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: I think so. It is according to Goodreads.

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Synopsis | Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, repairs the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the ethnically-diverse industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian South Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxuriate, a priceless glowing mineral. When the Beacon, a historical icon made of luxuriate, is stolen, it makes the headlines. But no one cares about the murder of Ang's new apprentice, Berrit - except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician, who offers Ang a job investigating Berrit's death. On top of this, Ang struggles with the responsibility of caring for her sister's newborn child.

As political secrets unfold and racial tensions surrounding the Beacon's theft rise, Ang navigates the constricting traditions of her people, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. With no one to help her except a savvy newspaper girl and a kindhearted herder from the savannah, Ang must resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city is plunged into chaos.

-From Goodreads

*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my feelings on the book. All opinions are my own.

Review: This is one of the richest books I've read this year. It's rich with the world, mystery and politics. All with a female MC that mentally and physically strong. She's smart, she's driven, she's loyal to her family, she's a pretty incredible character. 

There is so much in the book that it's hard to say exactly what genre it is. I would say it's mostly a mystery. We follow Ang as she tries to solve the mystery of a boy's death and the missing Beacon of the city.  I had heard this was fantasy, so I was hoping for some magic, but the glowing stone is the only somewhat magical aspect of the book.  And while the stone glows, there is not much other information about it's properties other than it is a highly coveted rock in this world. This is one of my rare issues with the book, I just wanted some more fantastical elements. However, there was so much more that kept me going and not wanting to put the book down. There was the mystery of course, but there was also racial dynamics going on within the city and those that live in and around it.

The story starts in a world of an industrial city. There isn't technology in this world, it seemed historical in a way but still had some advances. The description of the world was so well done and this book was filled with a such rich descriptions that I felt the city building up around me, or felt myself climbing buildings like Ang. The society in which it takes place felt real, I wanted to jump in and do something a few times throughout the book. I was always rooting for Ang, for her people, for those that were helping her. So many different aspects of this book had me turning pages almost faster than I could read them because I wanted to see what happened next. 

Ang was such a great heroine to follow throughout the story. We see her at the beginning, a girl just trying to get by doing her job, but by the end she grows stronger, uses her smarts, and becomes so much more than just a girl trying to get by. I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the story. The characters around Ang were so thorough and well done that they felt as real as the city. 

If you're looking for something that you've never read before... If you're looking for a unique city filled with politics... If you're looking for a good mystery... If you're looking for a strong heroine... Please pick up and read Steeplejack! :)

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What was a favorite aspect of the book for you? What are some of your favorite mysteries?