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Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  6,113 Ratings  ·  697 Reviews
London, 1889. Claire Trevelyan 17 should be a lady, but prefers to invent explosive devices. When her father Viscount St Ives loses the estate, a new leader rises in London underworld, the Lady of Devices. She wants to work in the lab of Andrew Malvern, member of the Royal Society of Engineers. Her devices may help realize their dreams, if they can stay alive long enough. ...more
Paperback, inc preview #2 Her Own Devices, 258 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Moonshell (first published May 30th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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BK Blue
Okay. So....

1. Lord James is an ass, and if I read more into this series and the two become romantic, I'm going to be pissed. Not to mention, the dude has a mustache, if I read correctly. I just can't take mustaches seriously.

2. As others have stated, she can't afford to ride a high horse when she is in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black kind of situation. Who is she to judge the kids on picking pockets considering her new reputation as an underground arms dealer, not to mention what happened along
Lady of Devices is the first pure Steampunk I've ventured into. I've read some that were also historical fantasy or paranormal, but I was afraid I wouldn't like the scientific aspects of steam and gadgets on their own quite as much. But I'm really loving this series. It's a lot of fun, and the technology isn't dry at all. You mainly just have to be willing to suspend disbelief about this alternate Victorian world because Claire's escapades are so outlandish. She's a fantastic heroine, full of sp ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a whole book in one day. Hooray. I almost feel like one of the giants of GR (you know who you are).

This was not at all bad. The only thing that irked me was how Clare, a smart young woman not yet wholly in possession of her own life, transforms when she takes up with the East End gang, into a prim and governessy figure. True, she does, half jokingly, describe herself as the governess of the children who constitute the gang; but it's the change in her manner of speaking and behaving that i
Sydney Blackburn
Jan 10, 2014 Sydney Blackburn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me so I was incredibly disappointed. After reading the blurb, I was nervous about the science - if internal combustion engines fail, what reason will the author give? None, as it turns out it.

But that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of other really bad science. Lets start with the exploding herbs. Then we'll look at steam engines that are the power that moves society, but no one seems to have realized that you can burn things besides coal to make steam. Steam cars c
Jul 13, 2015 Marjolein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read all my reviews on

I didn't care much for the cover, but I'm really glad the TBR jar decided it was time to read this book anyway. I read the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger and although this is not a school training girls to be assassins and spies it did have the same feel to it (which is good because I can't wait for the next book in that series).

In school Claire has always been experimenting, in chemistry for example. After her fortune takes a
Lady Claire has finally graduated finishing school. Despite her best efforts, none of her professors would teach her engineering, and her parents refuse to allow her to attend college. Claire tries to figure out how to reconcile her society's expectations with her own dreams, but the farthest she manages to go is to invite a Wit to her graduation party. Then her comfortable life is shattered, and Claire goes from rebelling against her family to just trying to keep herself together. And at this p ...more
Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]
Hallelujah! I finally have Wi-Fi! Thank the gods (Hermes especially)!

The book was good. Short but good. So is my review.

I liked the book, it's characters (all except the mom), and the plot. Though, nothing major happened, except that she, or her dad, loses his job, and she decides to make a living for herself (was that grammatically correct?), kills a guy and... She's awesome.

If you like steampunk, you must read it.

Though she certainly did not show signs of discomfort. Rather, Peony seemed amu
Jennifer Ashley
Feb 12, 2015 Jennifer Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 4 of my recommended reads for Goodreads Romance Week 2015: While this book is not strictly romance, Lady of Devices and the Magnificent Devices series has quickly become one of my favorite YA reads, as well as one of my favorite steampunk worlds. In this alternate Victorian universe, steam has just elbowed aside oil and internal combustion engines, to the misfortune of the heroine's father, a viscount who had invested heavily in combustion engines. Claire, who's never really fit in to her w ...more
Jul 15, 2011 Melissa rated it did not like it
Bought this because it was cheap. Sadly, it remained so.
Jacob Proffitt
Jun 06, 2013 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic find. I never know if what comes across as “young adult” in my head actually qualifies as young adult for anyone else. This book feels like it's solidly young adult, though, with a young protagonist, short page-count, and, uh, simplified solutions to some of the protagonist's bumpy road. Claire is 17 and newly graduated from a finishing school for upper-class girls. It isn't long after graduation, though, that her life is fundamentally altered from her expectations and she f ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pitch-perfect pulp. And I mean that as the highest form of compliment. (This review will stand for the first three books, taken together in one big gulp, which is how I read them.)

So often, authors feel the need to add stuff to steampunk. (I'm looking at you Kate Locke). Or they take the differences too far and create a world that is too alien to feel Victorian (Cherie Priest). But really, it's lovely as it is and a good writer can do so much with the setting. And Ms. Adina does. All three books
Mar 29, 2016 Leslye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. I'd DNFd about 6 books in a row before stumbling onto this one. It captured my interest and my imagination and I'm happy to have found it.

Also, it didn't feel YA to me, at least not in the bad ways that have me avoiding the genre these days. If anything, Claire read much older than 17, though that could be due to the historical setting. The steampunk elements were great and I felt this is everything I could want from the subgenre.

It was funny and light with sparklingly vibrant chara
Feb 03, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read! I loved the idea of the MC being more of a "modern, thinking woman" during a time when all that was expected of woman was to marry a rich man. I especially loved it when she met all the orphan children, and starting hatching crazy plans that somehow worked!
Jan 11, 2016 ~Geektastic~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of light steampunk adventure
Recommended to ~Geektastic~ by: the internet
I can’t in good conscience say that the plot of this tale is “believable.” But the pieces fall together so nicely that suspending my disbelief was surprisingly easy. I suppose this is because the setting and the characters do all the heavy lifting, with actual plot taking a backseat to the development of the world.

Claire Trevelyan, the titular Lady of Devices, goes from well-to-do finishing school graduate with hopes of attending university to the den mother of a gang of pickpockets within a mat
Marcos Carmo filho
May 05, 2015 Marcos Carmo filho rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books

Okay, I'll admit it: I only finished hearing this book because of my reading challenge. The fact that I had already heard half of it by the time I decided I couldn't tolerate the story anymore barely factored in. It was torture to listen to the second half even at 1.5x speed. So much so that this is the first book I finished hearing that I will request a refund for.

The narration wasn't great, but not nearly as bad as the story. It's ridiculous. The main character paints herself as a "lady of wit

Aug 23, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2012 Alisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Claire is a smart, headstrong woman who wants nothing to do with the life she's had chosen for her. Instead of being married she would rather go to college and learn more about the power of steam and chemistry. Her formidable mother however, will hear nothing of her plans, and suffocates Claire under her lessons on manners and propriety. After a horrible accident changes Claire's fortune, it seems the path has opened up for her to be free at last. With her new freedom, Claire collects a ban ...more
The Pen Punks
This book contains two types of stories I love—the fish out of water story, and the rich-kid-turned-ass-kicking-lord-of-the-underground story. I know, that last bit was a little long, but that’s exactly what happens to Lady Claire in this fun steampunk romp through Victorian London. All of our favorite steampunk trappings are there—airships, steam trains, lightning guns (oh yeah, dude, LIGHTNING GUNS)—but the heart of the story is Claire’s transformation from the viscount’s daughter who wants m ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Mona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, steampunk
Exceptional! And the narrator also narrated the Ruby Red trilogy! Win/win.
I'm not really sure how this found its way onto my to-read list. Disappointing. Maybe trying imitate Charles Dickens in steampunk isn't a fruitful approach.

For setting, it's pretty much generic steampunk, with nary a tweak. People are driving steam powered cars (and we hear, though do not see, that dirigibles are the in thing.) That's pretty much definitional for steampunk.

The main problem with this story as it doesn't go anywhere. It's the beginning of a trilogy, and really has no plot arc of i
Was an OK story - probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read, and adored, all of Gail Carriger's Steampunk novels - one of which was set in a school as well.
Sep 01, 2014 Dorian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-ebooks
A very entertaining, if highly unrealistic, piece of fluff. Claire's mother is determined that Claire will become a properly accomplished young lady, prior to making a good marriage. Claire is more interesting in chemistry and scholarship. Then the family loses all its money, and Claire's life becomes a lot more complicated.

Although I liked Claire, and enjoyed her story, I was ultimately disappointed because this isn't a book. It's half of one. All along, events seem to be leading up to...well,
Jul 17, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
This book reminds me much of a regency romance where the heroine, strong in her brain, does not want to make a good marriage just to breed heirs. She wants to do something with her life and be something more than society allows. Her father is usually absent trying to make a new combustion engine the new big thing. His daughter who is skilled in science knows the folly of such an adventure at this time and tries to sway his opinion back toward the stable energy of steam. After her father's folly ...more
Laura Martinelli
I tend to think that steampunk is a genre at the crossroads at the moment. It’s trendy enough that more books and articles and human interest stories are being written about it, but it hasn’t quite broken through to being mainstream. And much like any genre that’s becoming popular, everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon to try to rake in the cash. I found Lady of Devices as I was browsing through the “If You Liked X, Try Y!” suggestions. (Which is a very precarious task, I’ve found.) I did really l ...more
Dec 22, 2012 Trisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
steampunk is a genre I am still trying to get used to. it's a lot of science...and technology - which is not something I typically want to read pages and pages about. But, it's a small part mixed in with the usual character and world building.

I thought the story was very interesting. Claire does not have an easy go at life and has never really fit in. And when it all comes crumbling down, she does a great job of holding her head up high and just trying to make lemonade out of the lemons she's be
Oct 22, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of steampunk
Coming from a life of privilege, little is expected of Claire except that she marry well and be a good wife. But her greatest desire is to attend college and become an engineer. Then after a failed business venture her father commits suicide, she loses her life of privilege and finds herself on the street. She must rely on her wit and her education to survive and make something of herself.

Lady of Devices occasionally felt a bit like a video game, with Claire acquiring skills and then moving on t
This was the perfect way to pass time yesterday - a Bank Holiday Monday here when I was feeling tired and achy and very unmotivated to do much more than try to juggle arm elevation and iPad balancing, and there were moments even that seemed like a lot of effort. There was plenty to like, with a smart heroine who, for the most part, rose admirably to her grim new situation, and whose ambition was to get to university, with some amusing scenes with the street rat gang she ends up taking responsibi ...more
Leanne Crabtree
I'd been interested in this for a while but steampunk isn't really one of my favourite genre's--unless it's by Lindsay Buroker and they have romance in them.

I liked this but it's not my usual read. I guess I could be tempted to read more of the series at some point but I think I'd have to be in the right mood/head space for it.
Selena Yukino (The Lioness: hear me roar)
Rating: 4.8 stars.

Wow! I really love this book! But, for some unknown reason I just can't give it 5 stars. It was just missing that something. You know? I just needed that extra oomph. *cough cough* romance *cough cough*

Plot: The synopsis is what first caught my attention because it was just what I was looking for at the time, plus it sounded amazing. Also, I've hardly read anything Steampunk before so, of course I thought this would be the perfect opportunity! Anyways getting onto the story its
Meg Mims
Oct 14, 2014 Meg Mims rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After her deft handling of the All About Me YA series, Shelley Adina steams off in a new direction with Lady of Devices. Resourceful Claire Trevelyan, at 17, is poised to enter society until a family tragedy pushes her into the dregs of London’s Whitechapel underworld. Adina keeps the reader’s interest with a sympathetic heroine, a smashing story and incredibly rich details of both true Victorian London and the imagined steam-punk world. You won’t regret sticking with this series!
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Books, Booze, and...: Lady Of Devices casting 4 5 Aug 26, 2015 06:47PM  
Reviews for the L...: Magnificent Devices 5 25 Mar 07, 2013 06:53AM  
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Award-winning author Shelley Adina wrote her first teen 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 ...more
More about Shelley Adina...

Other Books in the Series

Magnificent Devices (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Her Own Devices (Magnificent Devices, #2)
  • Magnificent Devices (Magnificent Devices #3)
  • Brilliant Devices (Magnificent Devices #4)
  • A Lady of Resources (Magnificent Devices, #5)
  • A Lady of Spirit (Magnificent Devices, #6)
  • A Lady of Integrity (Magnificent Devices, #7)
  • A Gentleman of Means (Magnificent Devices, #8)
  • Devices Brightly Shining (Magnificent Devices, #9)
  • Fields of Air (Magnificent Devices, #10)
  • Fields of Iron (Magnificent Devices, #11)

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