London, 1889: Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin's son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.
At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire's talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It's not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices...
When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his...if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals....
©2011 Shelley Adina (P)2013 Shelley Adina
What a fun, light story! I completely enjoyed this Steampunk adventure! The cast of characters was very interesting and I was quickly caught up in the story. Fiona Hardingham did an outstanding job as narrator. I hope to see more of this series on Audible soon!
LADY OF DEVICES thoroughly captivated me. There's something truly other-worldly yet so completely natural about this blend of Victorian England (with all its social rules) and Steampunk alternative history. I found myself loathe to put down this book, as the plot twists and turns made it a definite page-turner. I found the plot to make perfect sense as the twists happened (foreshadowed beautifully)...but I never saw them coming. The secondary characters added so much charm and wit to the read, and I loved their contributions. Each one was completely purposeful.
I find myself eager to read the second book in the series and delve back into this wold Shelley Adina has created.
This first book in the series did a splendid job setting up the story world, introducing characters, allowing us to see Claire Trevelyan's personality and character. Claire was not the standard 'YA' heroine (thank you, Ms. Adina!). Claire may be barely out of the schoolroom (age 17), yet she is independent, competent, determined, resourceful, KIND, and more powerful than she realized. I found her to be immensely sympathetic and interesting. While this might technically be labeled a Coming of Age tale, it's by far the BEST one I've ever read. I'm pleased to find I've discovered this series late enough that there are MANY books available in the series...so there's no waiting for me-- they're ripe and ready for picking and savoring.
I can't compliment the narrator/voice actress enough. Fiona Hardingham was well-suited to the task; her dialects (so many!) were extraordinarily good. Whether a Lady, a street urchin, an American 'colonist', male or female, of any and every age, each and every voice was consistent with itself and WOWED me! I'll definitely try other books Ms. Hardingham has narrated. Kudos to both the author and the narrator.
Highly recommended to fans of historical novels (particularly Victorian England) and Steampunk.
A great introduction to a new series. One of the best things I have read in the last 10 years. Well worth a look (or a listen!). The production suits the glorious prose perfectly. Well done to all involved and more more more please!
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