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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady of Devices is a steampunk treat!
Poor Lady Claire, seventeen and not giving a fig about presenting herself into Victorian society, she's such a frustration to her dear mother, but Claire could not possibly care less about the plans that her mother has for her future. Claire's more interested in blowing things up in the chemistry labs and learning to drive the family's Landau. Lady Claire longs to attend...
Published on July 3, 2011 by Novel Chatter

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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok, could have been great
So the writing is good, the character development believable, and the world building is detailed. Then why, am I saying this is just an o.k. book? Because the author stretched out what could have been a great book into 3 going on four lousy parts. Seems like every YA author's editor is advising their authors to stretch out books to be the next Twilight. Problem is the...
Published on October 22, 2012 by Candice or Tim Ball


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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady of Devices is a steampunk treat!, July 3, 2011
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Poor Lady Claire, seventeen and not giving a fig about presenting herself into Victorian society, she's such a frustration to her dear mother, but Claire could not possibly care less about the plans that her mother has for her future. Claire's more interested in blowing things up in the chemistry labs and learning to drive the family's Landau. Lady Claire longs to attend University to study engineering. She's certain that the future will be in steam driven engines and various other devices. When Claire's father dies, and his company goes bankrupt, the family comes to realize that their cushy live is now over. With Claire's mother and baby brother, the current heir apparent, fleeing to the country, that leaves Claire in charge of selling their London home and letting their servants go.

When a mob of angry investors in Claire's father's now worthless company decide to riot and burn the family home, Lady Claire is forced to flee the streets of London in the family Landau. And that's where Claire's adventure begins for real. Accosted in Jack, the Ripper's Whitechapel area of London, Claire's relieved of her belongings and her beloved Landau. She's left unconscious on the street. That is, until a crew of young street urchins find her. What comes next is a wonderful story of trust, friendship and help the comes from the most unexpected places.

Shelley Adina's opened the door to a Victorian Steampunk world that fascinates us in today's 21st Century. "Lady of Devices", the first of Adina's trilogy in the Magnificent Devices series, is full of wonderful characters from the Lords and Ladies to the charmingly drawn young gang of hoodlums that Claire falls in with. Adina manages to lure us into the steampunk era with joy and excitement. Her plotline is strong and the cast of characters are well interwoven, it's Adina's vivid descriptions of Victorian London that make you turn the pages.

This may have been written for the YA audience, but it's certainly something I will follow and recommend. Adina manages to not only tell an engaging story, she also ever so sneakily weaves in some lessons in honestly, morality and what it's like to be a true and trusted friend.

I liked it and look forward to reading the next book in Adina's Magnificent Devices series.

"Lady of Devices" gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.

This book is from my own library, I happily purchased it in Kindle form with my own pennies. You should too!
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok, could have been great, October 22, 2012
This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
So the writing is good, the character development believable, and the world building is detailed. Then why, am I saying this is just an o.k. book? Because the author stretched out what could have been a great book into 3 going on four lousy parts. Seems like every YA author's editor is advising their authors to stretch out books to be the next Twilight. Problem is the cliff hangers are ridiculous, things like "oh I really need to have a conversation with so and so, oh wait he's gone!" O.k. everybody wait another 6 months for the next book. I think so far all the events in the series have happened over a period of months at best. It's a shame, because like I said, this book has so many good points. But the constant stretching at all costs causes the writing to deteriorate significantly, especially by the 3rd book. This author could have had one great book, something that people would have taken seriously. And the world she built is so detailed, a series developed about each of the supporting characters would have been welcomed. Instead, by the time you reach the 3rd book, it's apparent that what ever greatness this once had, it is now only forgettable drivel. Not something you would ever re-read or pass along to any friend you actually like.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly good, February 18, 2012
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I admit it; I'd been avoiding this book. Ever since I devoured Lindsay Buroker's fantastic Emperor's Edge books Amazon has been inundating me with recommendations for steampunk (which is silly; Emperor's Edge peripherally involves steam power, sure, but it is not really steampunk). And I'm not a huge fan of steampunk. Particularly steampunk by authors like Cherie Priest and Gail Carriger.

Finally, though, I gave in and downloaded the sample, and am I ever glad I did. I tore through this and its sequel Her Own Devices in the space of an evening (practically made myself late for an appointment, but finished just in time), and have spent the bulk of my time since recommending it to everyone I meet. I admit; the grocery store attendant looked at me pretty oddly.

The basics: Claire Trevelyan at 17 has the perfect life for her time period. She's the daughter of a powerful British noble in the latter days of Victorian England, steam power and sundry standard steampunk inventions are really taking off, and the worst problem she has is figuring how to convince her mother to let her apply to study engineering instead of making the socially appropriate marriage that is expected of her. But then tragedy strikes; her father, having foolishly invested almost all of their fortune in the non-starter technology of combustion engines (*snork*), loses virtually everything. Her family is forced into exile to their country estates, and through a series of unfortunate events Lady Claire finds herself on the streets.

And then things really kick into gear. Lady of Devices and its sequel are non-stop. If Lady Claire is not educating a local street gang on why you should never underestimate a lady with chemical bombs, she's politely insulting peeresses. She's a fascinating and fun character, and there's a little bit of everything over the course of the book; a smattering of romance, ridiculously improbable science, action, posh parties, desperate straights, and several points where I laughed out loud in sheer appreciation of Lady Claire's audacity or spunk.

I'm usually very leery to read fantasy set in Victorian England because it almost inevitably deals solely with the inanities and claustrophobias of life in the upper echelon of society while completely ignoring the human suffering that was running rampant through the majority of the populace. The Devices books so far have done a lovely job of offering both, thanks to Lady Claire. It is also exceedingly refreshing to find a female lead who is willing to fight for her rights as a person; so many female fantasy leads these days end up disappointing me. Sure they're willing to engage in violence or other actions that have historically only been appropriate for men, but in the end they're just fine sacrificing their personal power over to Mr. Hunky Werewolf/Vampire/whatever that happens down the pipe. Lady Claire is far more interesting; she's a Victorian lady to her core thanks to her upbringing, is reticent to commit violence, values many "female" things like children and domesticity, and yet is constantly driven by her iron-clad intention to preserve her personal autonomy and power while she seeks the knowledge and mental stimulation that she has always craved but largely been denied.

I really cannot recommend these novels enough. I will be keeping a close eye on Shelley Adina's work from here on out.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lady of Devices, July 24, 2011
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I happened on Lady of Devices by accident, read the Kindle sample and was hooked from the first page. My only disappointment was that it was too short! I could have stayed with Lady Claire and her amazing mind (not afraid of math or sciences-we need more role models like this in our world!) who manages to take her stifling circumstances and become an independent woman. Too often I find YA heroines are lost in their own emotional turmoil and almost nonfunctional. On the contrary, Lady Claire uses her intelligence and moral fiber to craft the beginnings of a very interesting life for herself. An alternative 1890s London comes alive with wonderful characters, from high society to hoodlums, and I found myself charmed and inspired on almost every page. I cannot wait for the sequel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Case of Exposition., May 5, 2014
This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is (yet another) case of the first book in a series being nothing more than exposition. The premise is interesting and holds great scope for adventure and exploration and Claire, the protagonist, is a strong woman with clear-cut motives. This book could be incredibly enjoyable, and the series certainly holds that potential. However, there is no sense of resolution or a real story arc due to its being the first book in a series and, thus, exposition. That being said, the writing is clean, and it was a short, fun read. It will no doubt hook many readers into continuing with the series, but I doubt I’ll be one of them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Please sir, may I have some more, May 14, 2014
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The concept was really good and I loved the crew she gathered around herself. However Claire herself is not really likable, she's arrogant and privileged. "You've had a tough life", "and no one knows that more than me."- seriously???? She was too proud to sleep in the bath at her idols house but she'll make a home with a bunch of urchins, then after a couple of nights thinks she knows what their life is all about?
Not too keen on the thing going on between Claire, Andrew and James. James didn't actually come off across as bad as I guess he was meant to in the laboratory because I just don't feel Claire's hate for him. She also makes a whole lot of assumptions about him based on their brief interaction that are the poler opposite, and yet both men have fallen hopelessly in love with her.
I didn't hate the story, I just don't like any of the people in it.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Half a book!, January 2, 2013
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Although this was well written, I felt betrayed. The book ended abruptly, seemingly in the middle of a chapter, with a request to read the next book. What? It felt like the story was randomly chopped into two books. Some authors put teasers--multiple chapters of a book--on Amazon, but make it clear that what you're getting is not a complete book. I generally will not download a partial book, and am angry that I enjoyed the book enough to want to finish it (fairly unusual for a free book on Amazon), and now am told I have to fork over about $5 in order to do so. If this story had been complete, I would have given it more stars. Well written, but a disappointment nevertheless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, January 16, 2014
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I'd give it 3 1/2 stars, mostly because it was slow to start and then stopped abruptly.

This is the first steampunk novel I've ever read. It began very much like a clean, somewhat slow-to-start romance - it took a while for me to recognize the steampunk elements; they weren't very strong in the first several chapters. But later, as they became a more important part of the story, I really began to enjoy this book. I probably will read the next book in this series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fun, June 26, 2014
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book is a lot of fun. The Steampunk genre is new for me, and this was a great foray into it! The main character is smart, creative, and tough. The world is detailed and interesting. And the story feels like it is really going somewhere. I didn't love it enough to shell out for the next books, but I might one day purchase them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My 1st Steampunk Novel - Who Knew? I Really Liked It!, January 1, 2014
Shelley Adina's Lady of Devices, #1 in the Magnificent Devices series, is my 1st foray into steampunk. What exactly is steampunk? Here is a definition that I got from Urban Dictionary:

Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.

Google's definition is:

a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

Pretty interesting, yes? Shelley Adina, who wrote a trilogy about 3 Amish women (I read the 1st 2 and really enjoyed them) has now written several books about a 17-year old girl, Claire Trevelyan, in Victorian England in the late 1800's. I just read book 1, Lady of Devices, of the Magnificent Devices series, mostly because Shelley came to Village House of Books a couple of months ago, and that's the book I bought and had her sign. I don't think steampunk is a genre I would have sought out/lusted after. Did I like it? A lot. It's the story of a young girl from a very privileged family in London who loses both her money and her father, at the same time. Instead of moving to another part of England with her mother, circumstances place Claire on the streets with a homeless band of children. How she handles that, using what she's learned from her position of privilege, with the help of steam-powered devices that weren't actually available in the late 1800's, makes for a very interesting story. When I finished, my 1st thought was: What is she going to do next? I gave this a 3/4, and I will definitely be reading #2.
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