I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Narrator: Liz Pearce
Series: Rebel Mechanics #1
Published by Recorded Books, Straus and Giroux on July 14, 2015
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Length: 9 hours 1 minute
It’s finally happened! I’ve read a steampunk book that I absolutely loved! I’ve been trying them off and on for a while because I absolutely love the covers and the concept of them pulls me in. But until now, I’ve been disappointed. Rebel Mechanics made me believe that I can love steampunk!
A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.
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.
- I freaking loved this world! It’s an alternative history – because of magic the American Revolution never happened. But it’s 100 years later and some of the colonists – the mechanics – aren’t happy. They’re using machines to fill in what magic does so that they can subvert the power of the British magisters. Pretty cool right?!
- Where normally in steampunk the machines don’t do a whole lot for me, here they had such an important role to play beyond just “this is a steam punk so we’re talking about machines” that I found them actually interesting.
- I liked the politics (always have liked the Revolutionary War’s politics), though I would have liked them better fleshed out.
- The characters! I loved Verity and the kids (cute, adorable kid alert!!!) – the author clearly has been around kids, because these were realistic children – and I liked the mechanics and of course Lord Henry. I laughed a decent amount and just really enjoyed all of them.
- The romance was cute but not overwhelming. Rebel Mechanics is sweet, young love and I enjoyed that.
- I was kept on my toes – there were a couple elements that I had to guess at quite a bit and there’s still a couple elements that I’d like to see answered in future books.
- The narration was fantastic! I’m not sure I would have enjoyed Rebel Mechanics near as much without Liz Pearce’s narration. She had great voices and distinct personalities. I did slow it down to 1.5x instead of my normal 2x but I think that’s because she had a slightly faster pace on her own.
What Didn’t Work:
- So I liked the politics but would have liked to see them a bit better fleshed out. The rebellion is against the magisters… But also against Britain. So is ALL of Britain magical? I suspect that, much like the real revolution, we’ve got similar unrest happening in Britain against a ruling class and, also much like the real revolution, it just looks different because in the colonies the ruling class represents Britain. But I would have liked to hear something about what’s happening in other parts of the British Empire. It was alluded to with the troops from India – I’m assuming that’s the Sepoy Mutiny reference – but it wasn’t said how things went down. I do think it’s possible that our revolutionaries are just getting started and we’ll see more as they learn more themselves in future books. The world wasn’t always so small – you didn’t always know what was happening all over the world.
I want more and have no clue when there will be a book 2!!! I looked and there’s no indication that one is even coming beyond the designation that this is book 1 on Goodreads. I sure hope that’s not the end, because I’ve finally fallen for steampunk – at least for the Rebel Mechanics!
Berls finally found a Steampunk she loves! 4.5/5 stars to Rebel Mechanics! Click To Tweet