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Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite
As a HUGE steampunk fan, I was thrilled when I got a chance to read The Lotus Effect, the first book in the Rise of the Ardent series by Bridget Ladd. Lily Emmerson is the daughter of two of the most important leaders of her society: The head of Council and the Mistress of Science. Bred since infancy to be the successor to the title of Mistress of Science by a cold unfeeling mother, Lily shocks and amazes the likes of the upper-crust society when a turn of fate and a cruel action cause her to renounce her future title and instead commit herself to fight in the Barrage. This mechanical tournament using the latest innovations comes once every 12 years and requires a team of 2 from each sector to fight for the chance to be able to change the corrupt law of the council.
First off, the cover is gorgeous! Its beauty standing in opposition on top of the gears and technical stuff is pure greatness and will definitely attract wandering eyes. The Lotus Effect was a cool mix of Dystopian, Sci-Fi, and Steampunk and I really loved it. Ladd's writing style is gritty without coming across as too somber and hopeless which is one of the main flaws in books of a similar nature. Lily Emerson is a great character. Maybe not as strong as Katniss, maybe not as smart as Hermione, but she possesses a strength of character, individuality, and ingenuity that should add her to the ranks of the other heroines of fantasy literature.