Brilliant Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices) (Volume 4)

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Press:Shelley Adina Shelley Adina (April 9, 2013)
Author Name:Adina, Shelley


Book 4 of the Magnificent Devices series!  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 her erstwhile employer, 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.
“This is another immensely fun book in an immensely fun series with some excellent anti-sexist messages, a wonderful main character (one of my favourites in the genre) and a great sense of Victorian style and language that’s both fun and beautiful to read.” —Fangs for the Fantasy: The latest in urban fantasy from a social justice perspective


Science Fiction & Fantasy,Science Fiction,Steampunk,Fantasy,Coming of Age,Literature & Fiction,Genre Fiction,Historical,Fantasy

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Comment List (Total:14)

  •     Great story for young adults! The hero is a girl who stands up for herself and is not defeated by circumstance. Great role model.
  •     The fourth book in the series, this book continues the story of Lady Claire, the Lady of Devices. For fans of steampunk, it's a cheerful, albeit far fetched and unlikely tale set in northern Canada, complete with dashing airship pilots (with an L-- the pirates were in the previous volume), dastardly American robber barons, mother-goddess worshipping Esquimeaux (!), and automata. There are some flaws in the book's internal logic, such as one of the automaton's ability to produce hydrogen for airships by merely blowing in a hose (forcing the reader to wonder how, in a steam-power culture, the automaton was powered, how without water molecules to split or the means to split them the hydrogen was produced, and how, without computer technology, the automata could respond to voice commands, for instance). At one point, too, a character with only one eye had both eyes fill with tears. The book carries on, without significantly advancing, the protagonist's relationship with Andrew, adding an 'affection triangle' with Alice-- it doesn't qualify as a love triangle by most standards, as neither young woman knows what she wants, on nothing more risqué than an unrepeated kiss in the entire book.Still, and however flawed, the book remains a fun read, which may be enjoyed equally by YA readers and adults.
  •     I love the whole series!!
  •     Great YA steampunk adventure of rags to riches or riches to rags. Great fmto think about the Victorian era, and steam propulsion versus fossil fuel.
  •     Quite enjoyable as always.
  •     Very good character development, with clear and concise writing.
  •     Ms. Adina's writing is marvelous. I love the entire series and it's certainly good enough for many, many re-reads. Lots of depth to the characters.
  •     Love the fast paced action, unconventional characters, imaginative engineering and particularly the humour and humaneness of the characters.
  •     Alternative history? CheckSteam driven machines? CheckClockwork devices? CheckUse of human level engineering? CheckTrevelyanYoung characters having to get old characters out of trouble? CheckA tale of high adventure, dark conspiracies, and hairbreath escapes? Check"Brilliant Devices", the 4th episode in Shelley Adina's "Magnificent Devices" stories about the adventures of Lady Claire Trevelyan has all of the elements of a great steampunk tale, and more.This time Claire travels from the American (or the Colonies) Southwest to the wilds of Canada. Claire, having escapes the dastardly clutches of Lord James Selwyn, goes north to meet up with Earl Dunsmuir and family with Alice Chalmers, Adrew Malvern, and her wards Maggie and Lizzy, known together as the Mopsies. Alice has her own purpose in going to Edmonton where the Dunsmuir family have a large diamond mining operation. She is looking for her father, whom she suspects is involved in the enterprise, though under mysterious circumstances.While there, they all uncover a plot against Count Zepplin, a brilliant creator of dirigible airships. And we discover more about the growing attraction between Claire and Andrew. Claire learns a good deal about herself in the process.Lovers of the Steampunk genre will find all elements of what we have come to enjoy about these stories, plus Adina has created some memorable characters about whom I hope she continues to write.
  •     Lady Claire and friends are in Edmonton visiting the Dunmuirs diamond mines. getting there was quite an adventure.
  •     very good young adult reading
  •     I love these books.
  •     Book four of the Magnificent Devices series continues the adventures of the Lady Claire Trevelyan, her orphaned charges, and their chicken of personality, Rosie. As this is a structured series, I recommend starting with the first book and reading all of the previous books, which will make this book much richer for the reader. There is a full history that brought this make-shift family to this point.The book starts with the usual for the clan--problems. But that is something that they know how to handle well...with invention, loyalty to each other, and perseverance. Each family member contributes to the set of solutions that gets them out of the challenges that they face...and a good part of the enjoyment of the book comes from seeing their creative wheels spin out answers to difficult problems. Another joy is seeing the theme repeated that children are young adults in the making, and are capable of responsibility and self-reliance, and deserving of respect (after all, how can one expect children to develop responsible behavior without according them the regard that should accompany said handling of duty)...even the eleven year old Mopsies provide great assistance to the group's predicaments. This theme alone makes this a very good young adult series.A sea of conflicted emotions becomes part of the tension when romantic feelings develop among the charming Captain Hollys and Claire, which compete with the attractions between airship captain-engineer Alice Chalmers and scientist-engineer Andrew Malvern...upsetting the progression of feelings between Claire and Andrew that have been growing, in a stuttering way, throughout the series.Though not related by blood, this family of the heart endures through multiple tense situations, with a nicely developed action pace through 95% of the book, perhaps the best of the series. I did feel let down a bit at the end when we and the characters are told the consequences of their last actions, instead of participating in the resolutions. Yet, as the bows were being tied on the action `off-camera', Claire's future decidedly became brighter, providing an emotional resolution to her life to this point.The ending was followed by an author's note that the Mopsies, aged five years more than the time in this book, would star in a book to be released late this year. I look forward to reading about the interactions between the twins, and how this unique pair deal with this steampunk world set in interesting times. I am sure that the world does not know what is about to be unleashed.This book is a feel-good, brisk read with a number of subtle twists. So rearrange your free time to catch up with this friendly `flock', and join the family is a bit of adventure.Three and a half spectacles out of five. Good story, pacing, humor, and themes for the whole family.
  •     Claire Trevalyn is not your conventional socialite. Neither are the people who surround her - inventors, orphans, airship captains, arms dealers, chickens! - but that's what makes it such a delightful book. And now we are seeing Claire and her merry band of misfits branch out to into the world on their own.But first they need to survive the assassination attempts and navigate the cruel waters of the upper echelon.I enjoyed it because this is the huge turning point for all of the characters. Suddenly so many opportunities are presented. However each one will take them on a path away from each other. All except the Mopsies.Claire and Andrew Malvern are currently at a cross roads. She wants an education and adventure. He wants commitment and security. It's funny when you see the reversal of proscribed roles for males and females.In my opinion this is an excellent book to lose yourself in a brilliant adventure.

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