Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Review: Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina

I love Shelley Adina’s Magnificent Devices. To anyone who knows me, this is no news.

And frankly, what’s not to love? A feisty young lady, a band of young misfit boys and girls, science, steam, adventure and just a hint of romance. I love it, hands down. Shelley has a way of captivating me with her descriptions, her easy storytelling, her fascination for machines and all the action and adventure she puts into her books. When I start reading one of Shelley’s books, I can’t stop until I’ve turned the last page in the book.

Brilliant Devices is no different than the previous books. Claire is no longer on the run from her former fiancé (since he died in the train crash), but she is trying to figure out her feelings towards Andrew Malvern, but the man is confusing her, as well as Alice Chalmers. Or maybe he’s just desperate, trying to figure out his own feelings? Hmm…

Claire finds herself standing in the middle of a war ready to happening, but the sides are not quite defined yet. One thing is for sure, someone is targeting the famous Count von Zeppelin, and Claire and her friends are the ONLY ones who can slink around unnoticed enough to figure out exactly what is happening – and hopefully before it’s too late.

To me, the Magnificent Devices series is steampunk when it’s best. I am grateful I stumbled over this –actually a friend of mine did and recommended Shelley’s wonderful series to me. I have not regretted picking this series up.

Lady Claire is a stubborn, adventurous young lady who’s biggest wish is to attend the university and study her beloved machines. I admire her character, she knows exactly what she wants in such a young age (she is barely 18 after all). And even though she knows a lot about science and machines, she is also very naïve in other areas. Which frankly is refreshing to read. And cute.

Every person in Brilliant Devices bring something magical to the story; Mr. Chalmers, Alice, the mopsies, Claire, Andrew, the Dunsmuirs, Tigg, and everyone else.

The ending is the beginning of another new adventure for Lady Claire and the mopsies, and I can’t wait to dig into my copy of Lady of Resources, which is the first book involving those two little rascals. :-) And even better – Brilliant Devices isn’t the end for Lady Claire’s story either. Shelley has promised she will return to the adventurous young lady, so she will get a shot at her HEA.

A lady of resources has the power to change the world—if she can stay alive long enough to do it.

Lady Claire Trevelyan had been looking forward to glittering balls, congenial society, and relief from pursuit during her stay with Lord and Lady Dunsmuir in the Canadas. Well, perhaps not entirely. Being pursued by a handsome airship captain is rather diverting, especially when it appears Andrew Malvern is becoming much too distracted by a certain blond mechanic.

But a shot fired in the night puts an end to such diversions, and instead plunges her and her orphaned band of children into a fight for their very survival. Between secret conversations at the highest levels of society and skullduggery in the diamond mines, Claire must discover who is behind a series of alarming attempts on her friends’ lives—before her mother is compelled to make funeral arrangements yet again.

About Shelley (the official version):
 RITA Award® winning author and Christy finalist Shelley Adina wrote her first novel when she was 13. It was rejected by the literary publisher to whom she sent it, but he did say she knew how to tell a story. That was enough to keep her going through the rest of her adolescence, a career, a move to another country, a B.A. in Literature, an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction, and countless manuscript pages.

Shelley is a world traveler who loves to imagine what might have been. Between books, Shelley loves playing the piano and Celtic harp, making period costumes, and spoiling her flock of rescued chickens.

The unofficial version:

I like Edwardian cutwork blouses and velvet and old quilts. I like bustle drapery and waltzes and new sheet music and the OED. I like steam billowing out from the wheels of a locomotive and autumn colors and chickens. I like flower crowns and little beaded purses and jeweled hatpins. Small birds delight me and Roman ruins awe me. I like old books and comic books and new technology ... and new books and shelves and old technology. I'm feminine and literary and practical, but if there's a beach, I'm going to comb it. I listen to shells and talk to hens and ignore the phone. I believe in thank-you notes and kindness, in commas and friendship, and in dreaming big dreams. You write your own life. Go on. Pick up a pen.


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