Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendon/ posted in: Reading Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
on July 14th 2015
Series: Rebel Mechanics #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Steampunk
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Also in this series: Rebel Magisters
It's 1888, and seventeen-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.
In this version of 1888 New York, the Americans lost the revolution because they couldn’t overcome the British use of magic. Now the seeds of revolution are growing again. The Americans are relying on their ability to make steam powered and electric machines to fight the British.
Verity is just looking for a job as a governess when she meets up with a group of mechanics testing their latest invention – a bus that runs without horses or magic. Members of the group befriend her and introduce her to the revolutionary cause. They see her as an asset because she got the job as a governess to a powerful British family. They want her to spy for them.
I enjoyed this author’s Enchanted, Inc. series and couldn’t wait to read this book. I love the premise that the revolution failed because the British have magic.
I like the way that the romance was handled in this book. At first it seems like it is going to play a major part in the story but then it ends up focusing on Verity making decisions for herself not based on what the men in her life want from her. There is flirtation and it may play out more in future books in the series but she isn’t focused just on finding a man to marry. It is hard to pull that combination off but the author did a great job of it.
I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next in the story.