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
Quirky feminine lead
Lady Claire was young and frustrated by the requirements of society.
When lady Claire decided to get her car back.
Set in late 1800s London, this steampunk adventure follows Claire Trevelyan. Claire’s dad is some minor nobility and inventor. In fact, he puts the family fortune into the development of combustion engine. Sadly, that doesn’t turn out well, and Claire is soon left penniless and on her own.
Have you heard the phrase, ‘Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack’? Yeah, that is the kind of awesomeness Claire embodies. She was always a bit of a chemistry and engineering nerd, blowing stuff up in the family laboratory. But she also had all her comforts met, food on her plate, servants, etc. When her father lost the estate and Claire was forced out on her own, that is when her inner strength shows. I really enjoyed this character.
Claire falls in with a group of young street ruffians. A sort of agreement is met between the two parties. Claire will provide some education (on how t behave in society but also how to make small flash-bangs) and the street urchins will give her a safe place to build a lab and sleep. All sorts of entertaining misunderstandings and embarrassing situations arise as Claire bumps into old associates with her new friends in tow.
This book was highly entertaining for the steampunk aspect, Claire’s cutting remarks, the street urchins pondering over a lady scientist, and the challenges of going against London society. There’s plenty here for the reader to enjoy. I am very glad that there are several more books in this series.
The Narration: Fiona Hardingham was an excellent choice for the voice of Claire. She does a great job at both the high society London accent and the street urchin accent. She had a range of voices for both males and females.
I don't read a great deal of Steampunk but like the genre. I must say this story went in a different direction than I expected and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Happily moving on to book two.
Tell us about yourself!
do not know but the audio verision keep me riveted, could not wait to get back to it when I had to stop. The second book is even better since all the charactors have filled out as it moves along
This is for me a stand alone type of story, have not read anything like this before, like it.
Do not wish to say more because I do not wish to ruin it for the next reader
After reading the Parasol Protectorate series I was looking for something similar when I found this. It's an engaging story that's slightly slow to start but picks up a lot of steam (pun intended) in the second half. I enjoyed Claire's integrity and modeling for her charges.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
While the story isn't bad and the characters being engaging it is only part of a book. This is one of those books that is only a part of a story and you have to purchase the rest to find out anything. I do like books that are a series but not at the expense of the story and you have to buy the next to complete a plot line. At which case the story lost a star for incompleteness. As a good clean steampunk story, this book would be it. It is geared more towards YA, so no sex (not really even a romance) and no bad language. I might be tempted to purchase the next in the series if there is a sale but I would not pay full price for part of a book. Narrator does an excellent job and is very clear and understandable.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the first book in the Magnificent Devices series. Currently there are at least eight book planned for this series, with the eighth one releasing later in 2014. I really enjoyed this steampunk young adult read set in Victorian London.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very very well done. I highly recommend this on audiobook.
Claire Trevelyan is the daughter of a Viscount and her mother is trying her best to get her married off to a fine gentleman. However Claire would rather go to University and spend time talking to Wits about steam engines. Disaster strikes when Claire’s father goes bankrupt and dies. Claire’s mother and brother are forced to flee the city to escape angry investors, while Claire is left to deal with tying things up in the city. Claire sees this as an opportunity to take control of her own life.
There are a ton of interesting steampunk elements in this novel that I really enjoyed. This is a story that isn’t all that original; a young woman prefers science/knowledge over marriage and decides to go her own way...but it is the type of story I never tire of reading.
Claire is a wonderful balance of a proper lady and a young woman who wants to make her own way. She is at times pretty and soft, but also extremely determined, smart and stubborn. She’s one of my favorite types of heroines to read about. I love how she makes a family for herself and finds a place to call home even in the worst of situations.
This book mainly follows Claire as she deals with the aftermath of her family disaster and loss of place in society and starts to find her own way in life. I loved the steampunk elements, found Claire’s story to be very engaging, and really enjoyed the story overall.
There is a somewhat complicated love interest here. A gentleman who was interested in Lady Claire ends up being the same man who is financing the research of Andrew Malvern, a young inventor who wants to hire Claire as his secretary. It makes for a bit of a love triangle of sorts, although I will say the story definitely isn’t driven by romance there is some romance subtly woven in.
The story ties up nicely, but there are definitely more elements of the story that still need to be resolved.
Overall I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a very fun read. It is not a story that is all that creative, but it is fun and well done. If you enjoy steampunk novels I definitely recommend this book. The story is bit of a Pride and Prejudice meets steampunk kind of read. I definitely plan on listening to more audio books in the Magnificent Devices series!
The Story line was entertaining, fun and solid.
What could be better than helping each other out, albeit with a little "turbulence" involved.
The street urchins of course- and Rosey the chicken was fun too.
Fiona did a great job on all the characters. I can't wait for her to narrate the next two books.
When the girls finally started to trust "Lady" (Claire).
I haven't been this excited to recommend a book (books) in a long time.
They were a lot of fun and a great listen too!
This was my first Steampunk book. I really enjoyed it. I dont believe I heard any profanity. FIona is a very good narrator. Love her voice. I recommend this one.
I bought this during a $4 sale, and I'm happy with my purchase. First, this is a YOUNG ADULT novel (I didn't see this mentioned anywhere except another review). All the same, it's an entertaining 5 hours. The main character wasn't particularly unique (I recently listened to Alexia Tarabotti), but the world was interesting and the characters made even livelier by Hardingham's narration. Her character voices were all very good, and my only complaint is the strange breaks... in the middle... of sentences. I got used to it after a little bit, and before I knew it, the book was finished. I'll probably follow up with the rest of the series if I can likewise find them for $4. They would be good for passing time during long drives with the whole family.
Report Inappropriate Content