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
A delightful story to listen to. The main character was very determined, very likable. The supporting characters were also well developed and became quite alive (except the mother seemed a bit too exaggerated). I'd recommend this, however, my one reservation is, I think that it was deliberately divided into four for sales. Where this book ended seemed more an end of Act I, than a complete end to a novel.If it was done for sales, well, so be it, but a fully fleshed out book costing a bit more would've most likely earned five stars from me.
The author has a delightful imagination and she's created a unique world. But Book One just ended, no resolution, too many issues left hanging. Since Harry Potter's seven books it's become a trend to do this, but in this case, The Lady of Devices would've been best served by being put in one single book. Just my opinon.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the "moppets" and how they were transformed.
All throughout, the author did a fine job "inventing" machines and giving just enough description so they could be imagined.
Her voice is smooth, and so very easy to listen to. The English accent makes the listener absolutely feel as if they are transported to Victorian England. She did a wonderful reading and I've written her name down to find more books.
I really do wish that Audible would combine all of the books in this series into one. It makes the purchasing easier and allows for the story to continue without interruption.
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.
An English Lady with a mind and will of her own finds herself destitute. Her admirable character and huge heart make this a must listen to novel... I promise you WILL be hooked! Can't wait to see what further adventures lie in store for the Lady of Devices!
Working towards retirement hopefully. I enjoy sci fi, horror, steampunk and some ya for good luck.
I enjoyed the depth and detail of the world. Sometimes too much information is like stuffing you get bloated. Not here the detail brought it alive for me helped me to imagine the world and setting.
Narrator's always make or break a audio book for me. This narrator just nailed the voices and time period. Well at least how I imagine the period. Her accent and voices for the children are awesome.
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!
The story is set in London and is close enough considering Steam Punk is supposed to be slightly out of our current universe. The representation of the young ladies is OK but a bit hackneyed. It is very much an outsider's view of society girls and a typically idealized view of 'polite' girls.
The story does not go the way that it looks like it will, and it isn't surprising that a bright woman sometimes does stupid things. People are far too simplistically offended, we are occasionally treated to adults taking permanent dislike to children based on a single sentence. A bit too pat.
On the one hand the story is fantastic, as in unbelievable. But on the other it isn't quite supposed to be real Victorian society, so the differences are forgivable.
In the end the story is enjoyable but too short, half a book.
Within a few minutes of the start we hit the first Americanism and they come in every few minutes from then on. "she fit in"? The poor reader must have choked on this. She fits or she fitted. In Victorian England they may have used steam power but they knew their language. England does not have Sidewalks. Nor shingle roofs, even cheap homes had slate or stone roofs. Pocket book? Really> I have never heard that term in English English, but I am not certain. Britain did not grow maize, what Americans call corn. Corn in Britain meant wheat, cornfields were yellow dry grass. Every few minutes another Americanism. There are various "brit fic" communities, or the Little Details community on Livejournal that would be able to provide direction. The Americanisms really spoiled the effect and pushed my assessment to Fan Fic rather than serious and professional writing.
This is first and foremost a good story. The story is about a young lady in challenging circumstances, and the importance of attitude in not getting swallowed up in all the turmoil going on around her. The steampunk era sets a fun and believable background, with opportunities for invention, a rigid society hierarchy, without all the supposed "safety nets" of modern society. Her wit, her intellect, her good manners, her confidence in herself. all allow her to overcome challenges that seem to get worse and worse. But she reacts as might be expected, or at least like I like to think I or a friend would react. And may i say this is all pretty good steampunk, with people who actually build and engineer machines instead of just living in a world fully equipped with them as some other authors present.
She does a great job. Some of the accents were perhaps a little too accurate and a little hard for this southern U.S.A. ear to follow, but nothing was lost in the story and it just came across as a very realistic. Well Done.
As others have said, it seemed a little short, but all the more because i had to keep listening to a little more than i planned to every night before going to bed. Very few books are so enjoyable from start to finish. I will start the next in the series tonight!
It was very entertaining. I enjoyed the way the lead charter who's name I can't remember lost everything but didn't let it bring her down, instead she builds a kind of home for herself and the street urchins she seems to become governess for. It is a wonderful book and I love how the book has to keep within Victorian standards.
In places it reminds me of the boxcar books, in other places it is like My fair lady, or Oliver Twist. It is really hard to pin it down to being like any other novel . Yet the plot is familiar, Women loses everything ends up on street but keep her dignity is in tact. She ends up taking a butch of street urchins under her wings and turning them into a force to be take notice of.
This was the first time I have listened to MS, Hardingham but I found her most enjoyable. She had just the right inflection to make it believe it believable.
I wish I had the time to just sit and listen to it in one sitting but I never have the time, but I had the most enjoyable time listening to it at nights before bed and letting it take me into the hands of Morpheus.
This maybe a little juvenile aimed novel but it is very entertaining and like Disney I think all ages will enjoy it. Just understand it's not 50 shades of Gray or the Hunger Games it's a Victorian time period novel with steam punk roots and some amazing parts. For some reason it reminded me a little of a modern day Box Car book with a little Oliver Twist thrown in but I have no idea where I got that, It's been 40 years since I read a Box Car kids book. (Yes I am old but not dead yet)
Yes - but since I mainly listen while driving or doing dishes, that didn't happen!
The characters are engaging and fairly realistic. The plot moves along at a good pace, and kept me quite interested! I only wish that it was longer!
It's difficult to find good family entertainment that is clean, creative and well written. I have found all three in The Lady. I sincerely hope the series continues in that vein.
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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