Monday, July 20, 2015
Daisy Reviews Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Title/Author: Rebel Mechanics (Rebel Mechanics #1) by Shanna Swendson
Publisher/Date published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, July 14th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: "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."
So I haven't really gotten into the steampunk genre all that much, mostly just because the ones I did read didn't really work for me all that much. BUT I'd read the Enchanted Inc. series by Shanna Swendson and really enjoyed her writing, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give steampunk another try.
And guys, it was a good life decision! I love the combination of this alternate history US and the steampunk! I mean, what if the US never became independant because the magical British overlords remained in power? That is a question I had NEVER asked myself before, but it's really interesting to think and read about and I love that Shanna Swendson did come up with this question.
I really liked Verity, she's intelligent and while she isn't all that enthusiastic about getting involved with the Rebel Mechanics at first (it's a scary thing when you could lose your job and all the security you have through that), she does believe in the cause and I liked seeing how she slowly works out how she feels about all of it, complicated by the feelings she has for the people involved in it.
So I'm just gonna come out and say that there's a bit of a love triangle in Rebel Mechanics, and it didn't bother me in the slightest. I already knew that I enjoy Shanna Swendson's way of writing a romance and she really does it very well in Rebel Mechanics as well. Mostly I felt that while Verity develops feelings for two men, it never felt like the love triangles in paranormal romance that have irked me so in the past. There's a natural flow of things and no insta-love, but there is attraction that feels real. Also, I have a big preference for one of the guys, but that's just because I love gentleman pirates/Robin Hood type of characters and he's AWESOME.
As a bonus to this gentleman pirate, there are also the children that Verity is a governess to, and I just adore the little girl and the boy was great too in all his boyness. The eldest girl was a bit ditzy and elitist and I do appreciate her as a character, but she's not much my type of person.
Mostly, I just really enjoyed the worldbuilding and the characters and it's a high stakes kinda plot that I liked. I could definitely sympathize with Verity in the things she does and the restrictions society puts on her and how she is an awesome lady spy. So yeah, I'm very much recommending Rebel Mechanics and looking forward to the sequel!
My rating: 4,5 stars