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A Lady of Resources by Shelley Adina

A Lady of Resources

by Shelley Adina

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435267,810 (3.97)None
  1. 00
    Lady of Ashes (Lady of Ashes Mysteries) by Christine Trent (LongDogMom)
  2. 00
    Soulless by Gail Carriger (LongDogMom)
  3. 00
    The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Another good story about a strong young woman who craves to learn more than most believe ladies should. Also touches on social classes and prejudice.
  4. 00
    Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both are steampunk tales filled with strong and resourceful young women, humour, excitement and characters you come to care about.

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Lady Claire was a naive young debutante when her family lost all money and reputation and she was left on the street with nothing but a high school level understanding of chemistry and an unbreakable will. She rapidly lept up the ranks of London's criminal underbelly, until she controlled it using a lightning gun, homemade bombs, and her very own airship. Claire, known to the underworld as "the Lady of Devices," was not content with this, and eventually invented artificial intelligence and achieved her highest ambition: to be named one of the Society of Engineers.

This book follows Lizzie, last seen as a frightening young child member of Claire's gang. Claire provided Lizzie with years of schooling and love, and now Lizzie is ready to make decisions about what kind of adult she will be. Unfortunately, she's rather taken with the idea of being a Society lady...I worried about Lizzie's priorities and shook my head at her choices, but they are perfectly believable for her, and in the end it all escalates into assassination attempts foiled by antigravity corsets, so I was left quite happy. This series is a huge amount of fun, and I love that the main characters are ladies but also scientific, imaginative, empathetic, honorable, and above all, brave. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
A Lady of Resources continues Shelley Adina's wonderful steampunk series Magnificent Devices. The young Mopsies, Lizzie and Maggie, play a large role in the previous four books, going from scavenging on the street, picking pockets and living in a gang of thieves to becoming part of Claire Trevelyan's ragtag family of orphaned misfits in Victorian England. Under Claire's care, the Mopsies learn what it means to be part of a "Flock" and to know true love and loyalty. In this, the fifth book of the series, the girls are now sixteen years of age and finishing up their schooling in Germany when Lizzie learns that she may not be an orphan at all, but has a father and half brother and even a set of grandparents. Desperate for the story of her own past, as well as enjoying the attention being lavished on her by her new and wealthy family, Lizzie is torn between her old world and her new one. Wanting desperately to fit in, she is determined to attend a Ladies Finishing school in France in order to learn all the rules and manners of the upper class so she doesn't embarass herself and will be accepted as one of them. She thinks that perhaps the life of married lady is one she might enjoy, much to Claire's surprise and disappointment, as she feels Lizzie should take her education further because she has such incredible potential, but Claire also understands Lizzie's desire for a family of her own and acknowledges that many powerful and influential women like Lady Dunsmuir, are wives and mothers and that they too have an important role to play. Yet when Lizzie begins to see some things that don't add up, and finds herself in a dangerous and desperate situation, she realizes that family is sometimes more than just the blood that runs in your veins, and that loyalty and trust and love are what really matters, and she calls on her "flock" for help!

Another wonderful read in which we learn much more about the Mopsies origins and how they came to be on the streets of London alone at such a young age. Highly recommended, as are all the books in this series. ( )
  LongDogMom | Feb 21, 2016 |
I remember really enjoying The Mopsies in the previous books of the series, so when I heard that A Lady of Resources was out I grabbed it pretty fast. And it was fun to read. Boisterous, action-driven and light fun.

Claire was still mentioned here, but the limelight was on Lizzie - one of the orphaned twins Lady Trevelyan adopted. Lizzie was all of sixteen, practically a grown girl, ready for her coming out and choosing her own path different from Claire's passions of a scientist and an inventor.

I could understand Lizzie and her desire to belong, but at the same time, after the grand adventures she lived through, her dreams of going to a finishing school in Switzerland and finding a husband were...well, trivial. Maggie and Claire certainly seemed to think so too.

It was hard to read about this growing divide between them, but have no fear, my dear reader! The splendid villain whom Lizzie accidentally uncovers and whose evil plot endangers the whole Britain will put that girl on the right track and reunite her with her family. Fancy that.

A nice read, great for younger teens who loved Untimed and Etiquette & Espionage. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
The fifth in the Magnificent Devices series focuses on Lizzie de Maupassant, one of the sisters formerly known as The Mopsies. Lizzie and her sister Maggie were found wandering the streets of London at the age of five and taken in by a street gang where they learned to pick pockets and engage in other acts of crime/survival. In Lady of Devices, Lady Claire Trevelyan teamed up with the gang to form a new "flock" as she put it. Claire became Lizzie and Maggie's guardian and de facto big sister.

Now 16, Lizzie has finished her studies at the Lycee des Jeune Filles in Munich. She has learned to behave like a lady, but the guttersnipe in her surfaces from time to time, as when, at a party, she picks the pocket of a gentleman on a dare, and finds more than she bargained for. In this book, Lizzie meets her real father and finds out what happened to her and Maggie eleven years ago. In the process of uncovering the truth, she must use all the resources at her disposal to survive.

Adventurous, funny and delightful story. Love the characters.

Great opening line: "Of all the infernal instruments man ever made, the corset is the worst."
( )
  flightsafancy | Feb 2, 2014 |
Some time has passed since the last book – Claire has graduated from university and is ready to embark on her new career, flush with success. And the Mopsies, now 16, have both graduated from school with a strong education under their bodices and ready to take on the world. Once they decide exactly how they want to do that

It’s a question that haunts Lizzie, fearful of splitting up from her sister, yet not wanting to follow down the same path. She has aspirations of being a lady – but will the barriers of class and upbringing ever truly allow her to become such? And what about Claire’s expectations and disappointment?

Into that comes some startling revelations about her past and new connections she never knew she had; but with them the difficult decision as to who truly counts as family?

This book was a little bit of a different shift from the last few books in the series. We have the obvious change in the protagonist which leads to a shift in its own right – but that is followed through for the whole book.

By this stage in the series, Lady Claire has achieved so much and proved herself over and over again. She is a skilled engineer, she is recognised as such. She has a career ahead of her and she has contacts and friends among the highest echelons – Claire’s presence in this book is relatively minimal but what there is is one of rousing success. And I love that – I love seeing the rewards for all of Claire’s hard work and dedication. I love that she has achieved so much and we get some righteous recognition for that. And I love that she still deeply cares about the Mopsies – and the whole flock – and is still willing to drop everything to rush across the country to play the Lady of Devices riding to the rescue, lightning rifle in hand (and, in the same way, how Claire can be hurt by the people she loves – because the fact a thoughtless word can hurt her so badly says a lot about how much affection Claire has for the Mopsies). It wonderfully adds to Claire’s story without her being the centre of this book – this is her victory and we can see how much Claire has changed from the character who first appeared in Lady of Devices.

Now switch to the Mopsies, Elizabeth specifically, and she’s a very different character. Not just a very different character from the accomplished, successful Claire today, but also different from Lady Claire as we first saw her. From the very beginning, Lady Claire has been true to herself. She has always known who she is, always known what she wanted and always known what she was capable of. Armed with the advantages of her education and her upbringing, she has always had an adamant sense of self and a powerful confidence in herself. She knows what her goals are – it’s fighting to achieve them in a society rife with sexism and her own reduced circumstances. Her identity and goals have always been solid – but she has had to fight incredibly hard to be able to express both.

But when we get to Elizabeth we have a different story. Lizzie spent most of her life surviving on the streets of London – and even then she knows how lucky she was that she fell in with friends and good people and wasn’t attacked, raped or forced into prostitution as could so easily have happened (fates that are so far removed from the upper classes that one man can’t even stand to have her talk about them!) And now she’s torn between two worlds – on the one hand chided for slipping into the accents of the poor and working class, yet at the same time criticised for not respecting her flock properly – particularly giving Trigg and Lewis the cold shoulder and appearing to regard them as beneath her (while feeling incredibly conflicted). There’s the complexity of trying to fit in with what she regards as her new social peers while, at the same time they would ostracise her when they know her actual origins and if she associates with the flock. While Lady Claire always knew who she was and who she wanted to be, Lizzie doesn’t have that same surety – about who she is or her ultimate goal or how to achieve it. In many ways, Lizzie seems to be finding herself in this book.

She also faces a massive barrier from the class exclusion which is further exacerbated by the fact that Claire, for all her goodwill, simply does not understand just how much of a barrier it is (which is excellently well done because, though Claire is a wonderful character and a wonderful person – she still has a privilege there that leaves her blinkered) creating a gulf of misunderstanding.

And I like that Lizzie isn’t just looking at following in Claire’s footsteps – she has other examples of powerful women, such as Lady Dunsmuir giving her more role models. There’s more than one way to be a strong, capable woman. I love the complexities of Claire not understanding Lizzie’s choices as well as Lizzie’s own conflict – both admiring what lady Dunsmuir can achieve but unsure as to exactly how or what that involves and whether that is her (or even achievable by her). Lizzie is also intelligent in a separate manner to Claire – while Claire is brilliant mechanically, Lizzie has a flare for logical deduction and detective work that makes her a little different.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Oct 8, 2013 |
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You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family ... or can you? Now sixteen, the twins Lizzie and Maggie are educated young ladies who have not been called "the Mopsies" in years-except by their guardian, Lady Claire Trevelyan. With the happy prospect of choosing their own future, the girls can leave their dodgy past behind, and Lizzie can bury her deepest childhood memories where they can do no harm. Upon her graduation from school, Lizzie is awarded an enormous honor, but can she pay the price? Is she ready to be separated from Maggie and become the woman she believes she was meant to be-or will old habits tempt her into defiance and plunge her into disaster? On a dare, Lizzie picks the wrong man's pocket and nearly loses her life. But these frightening events bear unexpected fruit: the dream Lizzie holds closest to her heart comes true in a most unexpected way. But this dream, too, comes with a price. Lizzie must decide whether her true family is the one she was born into or the one she chose that long-ago day when the Lady of Devices steamed into their lives.… (more)

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