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I Belong


Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Rebel MechanicsTitle: Rebel Mechanics

Author: Shanna Swendson

GenreYA Steampunk/Historical Fiction

Series: Rebel Mechanics (Book #1)

Publication Date: July 14, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0374300097 (Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-0374300098 (Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Zed

Synopsis:

It’s 1888, and seventeen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family–but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister–but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause–but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

Quick & Dirty: Steampunk historical fiction mixed with magic, an unconventional governess and plenty of secrets.

Opening Sentence: If I’d let myself think about what might lie ahead for me, I’d have been terrified.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Rebel Mechanics has the ideal mix of historical fiction and magic. I love a gutsy heroine who is conscious of society expectations but will overlook this for the people that matter. And that is exactly what Verity does in her attempt to help her mechanic friends. From her very first day in the new city she encounters danger, adventure and more excitement than she could ever have dreamed. A proper, ‘normal’ young lady would be appalled but Verity is an odd one and thrives on it.

On one side are her friends, the rebel mechanics secretly working against the government, and on the other side lies her duty to the magister family she works for. To add to the confusion, she has a nagging suspicion that her employer, Lord Henry, isn’t the aloof scientist everyone believes him to be, but is an active member of the masked bandits, another rebel group that rob the rich magisters to feed the poor. Oh and to top all that, she has to hide from everyone the fact that she is half magister, in other words an abomination that would be hated by magisters and mechanics alike.

Henry is the cutest and funniest character ever. He hides his true identity brilliantly, and I fell in love with his eccentricities. I was annoyed about the budding romance between Verity and Alec the engineer (purely because it was an inconvenience to my imagination) but glad to see it come to an end because I can sense the sparks between her and Henry. They are just too funny together!

With some trepidation about being so forward with my employer, I grabbed his arm and gave him a sharp pull, just before he fell into the arms of a naked marble woman. He blinked at me over the tops of his glasses, then pushed them up his nose with his forearm.
“Oh dear, you seem to have rescued me from a rather improper embrace, Miss Newton,” he said with a rueful smile. “I’m afraid my glasses slipped, and I’m quite blind without them.” I thought that if he’d been the one with me in the park, he’d have fallen headlong into the carriage’s path and we’d both have been killed.

This book has such a great mix of everything that I cannot understand why anyone would give it amiss. I am eagerly awaiting the next in the Rebel Mechanics series and I’m positive that you’ll feel the same once you read this book too.

Notable Scene:

I was surprised to realize I felt slightly disappointed. If I had to be a governess working for a bandit would make my life much more exciting. Now I supposed I had to hope for something like a madwoman in the attic, or perhaps a ghost.

Rebel Mechanics Series:

1. Rebel Mechanics

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FTC Advisory: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Rebel Mechanics. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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