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.
You can order METALTOWN at any of these lovely locations:
METALTOWN’s Short Story, BURNED AWAY, is out now! You can find it HERE.
Here’s what people are saying about METALTOWN:
“Simmons’ immersive world building and intense action create a gripping read, but the nuanced characters are the core of this dark, intense, but ultimately hopeful tale about love, loyalty, and sacrifice, especially the relationship between idealistic Colin and resilient, valiant Ty.”
“In this gritty tale of intrigue, corruption, greed, and human rights, Simmons offers readers a savvy take on a post-apocalyptic society.”
“I’m clutching my heart and smiling madly. It’s that kind of book. Such gorgeous heartbreak!”
-Laini Taylor, NYT Bestselling author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone
“A raw, heart-racing tale of teens trying to survive in a world with nothing to lose.”
-Sara Raasch, NYT Bestselling author of Snow Like Ashes
“A compelling, inspiring read. The industrial setting is reminicent of turn-of-the-century works like The Jungle, and the characters had me rooting for rebels, fights worth fighting, and girls with gumption. By the time it was over I had my fist in the air.”
-Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns and Anna Dressed in Blood
“Metaltown is gritty, it’s real, and it’s emotionally exhilarating. Simmons weaves a tale of the underappreciated fighting back for a better life that leaves the reader wanting to rise up and fight for themselves. It resonates deep within as each page passes, striking a chord for every person that has ever felt kicked while they were down. Metaltown implores you to “press back” for the life you deserve and yet it manages to maintain a beautifully constructed plotline that brings the characters (from the main to the side) to roaring life. Metaltown is a book that everyone must read, if not for the amazing and thrilling ride that it will take you on, then for the reminder that without the Small Parts – there is no big idea.”
-Caitlin Fletcher, Kids Team Leader, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
“Simmons does not pull back… Rife with social commentary, this gritty, stand-alone dystopian novel will keep readers engaged and belongs in most collections.”
-School Library Journal
“A page turner, the characters absolutely stole my heart. ”
-Katie McGarry, author of Nowhere But Here and the Pushing the Limits Series
“At times gut-wrenching, at others hope-filled, METALTOWN resonates with any person who has ever wanted more out of life. Through Lena, we challenge the status quo and are reminded that money rarely equals happiness. Through Colin, we recapture a sense of hope that if the pursuit of what’s right is at heart, real change can happen. Through Ty, we crave justice for the forgotten, the cast aside, the lonely. All these unique stories converge, along with others, to form a master narrative that is impossible to ignore. METALTOWN reels us in immediately and only leaves us wanting more. Simmons has created a true Dystopian masterpiece for readers young and old. The sequel had better be in the works.”
-Kristie Hofelich Ennis, NBCT, High School English Instructional Coach, KCTE Conference Chair
“Metaltown is a story that harkens back to the times of Industrialization, and yet feels like it could be set in past or future. It features situations that put characters through the wringer (multiple times), and still expect them to show up to work the next day. It is about arguing with people who are all selectively deaf to your voice, and about rising up to make sure you can survive. It was a privilege to read and I absolutely adored it.”
-Rachel Strolle, Anderson’s Bookshop
“Kristen Simmons has created an amazing and emotionally raw story of perseverance and determination … A story of friendship and family, and fighting for what you believe in no matter the cost. Her characters will jump off the page and into your heart – you will both love her for creating such an amazing cast and hate her a bit because you’ll be so enthralled that you just can’t seem to put it down. Definitely get this on your must read list immediately!”
-Jaime Arkin, reviewer, Fiction Fare
“Gritty, raw, and dripping with swoon. Kristen Simmons has crafted a story about family, friendship, and moral courage in an industrial world. Metaltown will have you turning pages as quickly as possible and begging for more when you finish the last line. Get ready to PRESS BACK.”
-Meg Caristi, Swoony Boys Podcast
“This is a rebellion for the underdogs, a wonderful dystopian novel that will have you feeling each character’s hunger, pain, anger and bravery. With twist and turns in every chapter, you will grow to see these characters as your friends and root them on as they tackle the many obstacles and enemies that stand in their way. This book will reach so many of my students who get lost in the shuffle and overlooked. It will inspire and encourage them to stand up to those who feel they can take advantage of them. It will show them that they too have a voice if they put their heart and passion behind their words and actions. This book will fly off the shelves.”
-Gwen Wethington, High School Library Media Specialist
“Metaltown is a masterful edition to the world of teen dystopian fiction. With multiple, shifting perspectives from teens trapped in a gritty, lonely world, it combines the excruciating hard labor of The Jungle, the choruses of the barricades in Les Mis, and the plucky spirits of Oliver Twist. Metaltown is our worst nightmare: children and teens working in factories overseas that no one wants to think about when they buy their designer fashions and technology. Ty, Colin and Lena are the archetypes of a world that we love to think of as past, Industrial Age monstrosities due to children in horrible working conditions, forced to face labor violations and filled with a desperation to survive.
Its pursuit of war, capitalism and greed hits close to home. The lurking evil of the Brotherhood personifies the single-minded brute force of labor managers and strike-breakers, even back to the early immigration days in the US. The revolt of the workers, the press back, is startlingly realistic in the current political climate, as is the Hamptons’ decision to transition their factory into one where they eventually become part of the solution rather than supporting the problem. The story of Colin, Ty, and Lena is a perfect addition to any classroom studying Atwood, Orwell, or Huxley and the teacher’s guide will guarantee that this, like the Article 5 series, will become required reading in high schools across the country.”
-Cori Smith, AGM and Marketing/B2B Manager, Joseph Beth Booksellers