June 16, 2015

Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Rebel Mechanics 
by Shanna Swendson
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 14th 2015
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-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.

Can we start with the cover? It’s gorgeous! I love everything about it. It’s the first thing that made me want to read it. Beautiful! It also fits the story perfectly!

As for the story itself, I am not sure how I feel about it. I expected a lot more to be honest.

It had a great opening and immediately I fell in love with the idea of Verity falling for a bandit. I sort of knew that they would cross paths again, and my first thought was “now this is going to be a good romance.” Unfortunately, that is not where the story went. In fact, for more than half of the book Verity knows who the bandit really is, but doesn’t say a word. She befriends a group of rebels and right away she puts all her trust in them. Even if she questioned them, or their actions, she still went along with most of their little adventures and becoming a spy for them. There is also a romance that blossoms between Verity and a rebel that, to me, didn’t feel real at all. I wasn’t buying it one bit. There was just no chemistry between the two.

Overall, Rebel Mechanics was interesting enough to keep me reading until the very end, but I wish there was a little more action, some twist and turns that weren’t predictable. I also wish there was a lot more magic involved. But I did like the world Shanna Swendson has created, and the way she would describe certain things. Her writing was great! If there is going to be a sequel I plan on reading it. With the way things ended, I have hope that the story is going to go in a certain direction. *wink wink*

3 Stars!


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