Book Review: Her Own Devices

Her Own Devices
Shelley Adina
Young Adult

When I finished Lady of Devices, the first book in Shelley Adina’s “Magnificent Devices” series, I knew one thing for sure—I’d definitely be back for more. How could I resist Victorian England, airship travel, and steam-powered cars? Or a heroine who, despite setbacks in her life, uses her brain to overcome difficulties, and eventually ends up leading an underworld gang? I couldn’t. So I was more than ready to read about seventeen-year-old Lady Claire Trevelyan’s further adventures in book two, Her Own Devices.

The story begins with Lady Claire starting her job as assistant to engineer Andrew Malvern. Here she hopes to learn and get a letter of recommendation so that she’ll be accepted into engineering school at university. But Andrew’s experiment with slow-burning coal isn’t working, so Lady Claire, with the help of a member of her gang, works on a solution. Adventures ensue!

Adina’s plot has smoothly placed twists and turns that kept me riveted. Along with the fun “what if?” aspect of steampunk, the story highlights the difficulties women in the late 19th century had when they wanted to further their education. Society’s constraints and the plain ignorance of men over a woman’s abilities played a key role. But Lady Claire doesn’t let it stop her. Despite the manipulations of her fiance/nemesis Lord James and the confusion over a budding romance with Andrew, Claire learns to stay true to herself.

This review is more of a recommendation for an entire series, rather than just one book. With any luck (and Adina’s hard work), the third book, Magnificent Devices, could be ready by September as an e-book. Check these out. I think you’ll be glad you did. Oh, and the covers are stunning, don’t you think?

Don’t forget to visit again on Thursday when we’ll have an interview with author Shelley Adina.


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