At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire's talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It's not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices...
When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his...if they can both stay alive long enough to see that sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Matthew Hayes on 22-01-16
Don't judge the book by its cover!
With its horrible cover and an author whose other work seems to include Amish romantic fiction, I wasn't sure that this was going to be the book for me. Still, I like steampunk and this volume was free so I thought I'd give it a go.
I'm glad I did. This book is absolutely charming and very well written. The steampunk technology (basically, combustion engines have not been made to work) fits in very well with the plot and, barring a lightning gun or two, is more plausible than some and well worked into the plot.
Unlike some other steampunk novels, however, the technology does not crowd out characterisation and I liked the almost Jane Austen subtlety of tone and description of the everyday social conflicts of upper class Victorian society.
If the book has a fault it's that it is clearly the first volume of a series and consequently very little is resolved. I shall definitely be downloading the next volume, however, as the first volume has left me anxious to resume the adventures of Lady Claire and her semi-cilvilised but cute gang of orphans (plus chicken).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By chaz on 08-06-13
A great introduction to a new series. One of the best things I have read in the last 10 years. Well worth a look (or a listen!). The production suits the glorious prose perfectly. Well done to all involved and more more more please!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kitty Lagorio on 16-03-14
Was it really just one book divided into four?
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
A delightful story to listen to. The main character was very determined, very likable. The supporting characters were also well developed and became quite alive (except the mother seemed a bit too exaggerated). I'd recommend this, however, my one reservation is, I think that it was deliberately divided into four for sales. Where this book ended seemed more an end of Act I, than a complete end to a novel.If it was done for sales, well, so be it, but a fully fleshed out book costing a bit more would've most likely earned five stars from me.
The author has a delightful imagination and she's created a unique world. But Book One just ended, no resolution, too many issues left hanging. Since Harry Potter's seven books it's become a trend to do this, but in this case, The Lady of Devices would've been best served by being put in one single book. Just my opinon.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Lady of Devices: A Steampunk Adventure Novel?
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the "moppets" and how they were transformed.
All throughout, the author did a fine job "inventing" machines and giving just enough description so they could be imagined.
What does Fiona Hardingham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Her voice is smooth, and so very easy to listen to. The English accent makes the listener absolutely feel as if they are transported to Victorian England. She did a wonderful reading and I've written her name down to find more books.
Any additional comments?
I really do wish that Audible would combine all of the books in this series into one. It makes the purchasing easier and allows for the story to continue without interruption.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
By Red Apple Reader on 18-02-14
LADY OF DEVICES thoroughly captivated me. There's something truly other-worldly yet so completely natural about this blend of Victorian England (with all its social rules) and Steampunk alternative history. I found myself loathe to put down this book, as the plot twists and turns made it a definite page-turner. I found the plot to make perfect sense as the twists happened (foreshadowed beautifully)...but I never saw them coming. The secondary characters added so much charm and wit to the read, and I loved their contributions. Each one was completely purposeful.
I find myself eager to read the second book in the series and delve back into this wold Shelley Adina has created.
This first book in the series did a splendid job setting up the story world, introducing characters, allowing us to see Claire Trevelyan's personality and character. Claire was not the standard 'YA' heroine (thank you, Ms. Adina!). Claire may be barely out of the schoolroom (age 17), yet she is independent, competent, determined, resourceful, KIND, and more powerful than she realized. I found her to be immensely sympathetic and interesting. While this might technically be labeled a Coming of Age tale, it's by far the BEST one I've ever read. I'm pleased to find I've discovered this series late enough that there are MANY books available in the series...so there's no waiting for me-- they're ripe and ready for picking and savoring.
I can't compliment the narrator/voice actress enough. Fiona Hardingham was well-suited to the task; her dialects (so many!) were extraordinarily good. Whether a Lady, a street urchin, an American 'colonist', male or female, of any and every age, each and every voice was consistent with itself and WOWED me! I'll definitely try other books Ms. Hardingham has narrated. Kudos to both the author and the narrator.
Highly recommended to fans of historical novels (particularly Victorian England) and Steampunk.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful