Steel Princess by April Grace: A Review
A stolen gynoid princess.
An enslaved human robot tinker.
A loveless queen bent on the destruction of mankind.
These are the elements that make up Steel Princess, a teen/YA fantasy novel written by April Grace.
Robots are not supposed to feel emotions. Sure, they may simulate them, understand them even, but have them? Nope.
But Silver, who has been living as the daughter of two humans for most of her life, has started to receive error messages from her processing system about the physiological manifestation of responses from emotional stimuli. (AKA, she’s feeling emotions and her motherboard doesn’t quite know what to do with that!) And, if that wasn’t enough, suddenly, she’s confronted with a truth previously hidden: she was not commissioned or built for her parents to substitute a daughter that never was – she was stolen from her gynoid mother, the queen of the land.
Her ‘parents,’ two humans that have no interest in becoming victims of the gynoid queen’s human genocide, took Silver when she was young and have been raising her as if she were human. Now, what should never have been possible is coming true – Silver is emotionally becoming one of them!
But when Silver’s adoptive mother is captured by the biological(?) mother, Silver has to decide which family to pledge her loyalty to. Choosing the family who has filled her life with love and hope, Silver will stop at nothing to get her mother back and end this reign of terror.
I’m always skeptical about the SFF genre. If you read any of my own books, you’ll find them gritty and down to earth (I can’t write magic to save my life!). But Grace has a way of taking her readers along a journey and introducing them to fantastical characters with heart and humor. One thing that did take me aback (only momentarily) was the inclusion of mythical creatures and magic in this novel. I thought it was going strictly sci-fi, so when the centaur showed up, I wasn’t quite ready for that. Like I said though, it was a momentary feeling. In fact, from that point on, the addition of magical creatures alongside cold robotic beings worked well to create an immersive and complex world.
This was a fun book full of adventure and interesting characters. It was well-written and easy to understand. I believe this is Grace’s first book, and, considering her expansive level of creativity, I can’t wait to see where she goes from here!
I am accepting submissions for reviews at this time. I am primarily interested in thrillers, suspense, magical realism, dystopians, and light sci-fi. I have a taste for the grim and love novels that make you think. Leave me haunted but hopeful.