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Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices) (edition 2011)

by Shelley Adina

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Member:Rob_AC
Title:Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices)
Authors:Shelley Adina
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 202 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

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This was the perfect story to pull me out of my reading slump, but I do have to say that the cover art is atrociously bad and really gives the wrong impression of the story. *sighs* I know, you are thinking there are a lot of steampunk Victorian England adventure novels out there, but this one has a nice cachet to the story that makes it stand out as different from the rest. It has some of the same sparkling fun of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, without all of the sexual innuendos or any of the werewolves/vampire characters. Lets call this the clean PG steampunk version, with a bit more of a Georgette Heyer feel to it. What it does have, besides a delightful lead heroine, is a wonderful gang of street urchins that will probably win over your heart as they did mine. Adina has done a beautiful job capturing 19th century Victorian England and infusing it with steampunk elements such as steam-powered landau carriages, airships and electrical force firearms. Just enough to give the Victorian story a rather fanciful edge to it. The story is firmly grounded in Claire's story as a engineering-minded young woman who's wealthy and titled family suffers an extreme setback. At first I had the impression that Claire was an older (and yet still school age) girl to rival Alan Bradley's Falvia de Luce but no, their similarities only extend to their mutual love for science and their ability to get in trouble for that very passion. I know... I am not doing a very good job explaining this one.

Basically, if you like steampunk-styled stories set in Victorian England with street urchins, scientists and a potential romance angle with titled/scientific connections, you may find this story to be as delightful a read as I did. ( )
  lkernagh | Aug 30, 2015 |
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. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jun 16, 2015 |
AWESOME! ( )
  SarcasmQueen | Feb 24, 2015 |
I chose a steampunk novel to read for Dragon Con this year. I found this to be a passable read, but basically uninspiring. It reads very much like a YA novel, which is fine, but the development of plot and character is lacking. It almost seemed as if the author had a plot in mind and simply added some steampunk features, and these additions didn't feel natural to me. Still, it was a moderately entertaining read, although I don't expect to read the follow-up novels. ( )
1 vote hobbitprincess | Sep 1, 2014 |
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! ( )
  krau0098 | Jul 6, 2014 |
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For Timon Esaias, with special
thanks to Spencer Bates
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To say that the explosion rocked the laboratory at St. Cecilia's Academy for Young Ladies might have overstated the case, but she was still never going to hear the end of it.
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Book description
If you like steampunk stories by Cherie Priest and Gail Carriger, you’ll love Shelley Adina’s Lady of Devices!

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 . . . 

[retrieved from Amazon 2/27/2012]
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If you like steampunk stories by Cherie Priest and Gail Carriger, you'll love Shelley Adina's Lady of Devices! 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 . . .… (more)

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