If you love Steampunk and YA books, you’ll hit the jackpot with this book!
Yeah, Rebel Mechanics got published as YA because the fantasy publishers thought it was “too romancey.” But it wasn’t a romance, and there were young characters and coming-of-age themes, so I tried YA and it sold. https://t.co/ECWKQy7EDD
— Shanna Swendson (@ShannaSwendson) January 24, 2019
It’s 1888, and sixteen-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.
The book is an OK-ish read for adults and perfect for teenagers. No sex, no foul language – one of the characters actually says “oh, fudge!” when something doesn’t work.
If you like steampunk, the portion of the book dealing with machinery has been brilliantly executed. That said, the story is kinda bland and so are the characters around it. The romance is pretty light in this book, and I’m glad it’s not the focus of the novel. I got a strong Jane Eyre vibe from the book thinking that the young governess will end up with the lord.
The spy-aspect of the book is not actually proper spy-ing is more like a bit of digging here and there. Verity will end up “unravelling” many more mysteries like why the owner of the house she works for has the icy blue eyes of a bandit, and whatever else she doesn’t already know about the Rebel Mechanics. There’s a book 2 but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing it!