Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All Men of Genius” as Want to Read:
All Men of Genius
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All Men of Genius

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  1,249 Ratings  ·  279 Reviews
Inspired by two of the most beloved works by literary masters, All Men of Genius takes place in an alternate Steampunk Victorian London, where science makes the impossible possible.

Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up-and-coming scientific minds, founded by the late Duke Illyria, the greatest scientist of the Vict
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Tor Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All Men of Genius, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 21, 2011 Nafiza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
I am not in the habit of mincing my words so I’m going to come right out and say it. Reading this was a painful experience. Not an impossible feat (like Shatter Me was but that’s another story) but very, very painful. But I persevered and completed it just so I can review it with a clean conscience.

I was sold on the book the moment I read the synopsis. I found the title to be particularly witty (All Men of Genius, only it’s a woman’s genius we are going to be seeing, get it?) and I thought that
All Things Urban Fantasy
Don’t make my mistake of picking up ALL MEN OF GENIUS when you’re on your way to bed. Hours later, bleary-eyed and sleepy, I was only halfway through the book and still fighting to keep reading, unable to put it down. Violet, Ashton, Jack and the befuddled Duke captivated me from the get go, and that was before the other Illyrian students even had a chance to win me over.

Even if I hadn’t fallen in love with the characters, I would have been a goner for the world-building. Rosen gives science the
Aug 13, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“That all you would see in flowers are scientific principles,” he said, “even when a man tried to show you their beauty.”

“But that is their beauty,” Violet said, pursing her lips. “Really, I don’t know what it is with your gender, that they must divide science and beauty into separate fields. As if the stars and planets themselves are lovely, but to map the way they turn takes that away from them. In my opinion, the way a planet spins only adds to its beauty.”

Viola Adams has a gift for invention, and the best way to hone her skills is by attending the prestigious Illyria College. Illyria only accepts male students, so of course she masquerades as a boy to attend. While there, she runs into wacky professors, sinister clockwork automatons, and the far-too-sexy-for-her-good Duke. While she and the Duke battle their attraction for each other (he assuming she's a boy, she wanting to focus on her inventions), the Duke's ward Cecily falls in love with Viola ...more
Edward Lazellari
Aug 07, 2011 Edward Lazellari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last steam punk novel I read was The Difference Engine, and that was over 10 years ago. I liked it well enough, but the genre didn't catch on with me. I think had I read All Men Of Genius by Lev AC Rosen, though, steam punk would have been more consistent fare in my literary diet. This sideways retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is a fun, witty tale, with characters you wish you could befriend and drink with at a dingy London pub.

Rosen's devotion to character does not detract from the
Sep 23, 2011 TheBookSmugglers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-favorites
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers HERE

First Impressions:

Ana: All Men of Genius has been marketed as a Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Well, I love Steampunk (when done well) and the two aforementioned plays are my favourites by their respective authors so I was super excited to read this. At the same time, I was quite wary as there is this really thin line separating great homage from simple reproduction. I need not
Prelim Review: As a big time fan of both Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, plus steampunk, this was a natural fit for me to enjoy. I had met the author at BEA this year during a double signing with Edward Lazellari for TOR (my publisher for life), but knew nothing about the book. However soon as I began walking away from the table I looked at the backcover and was like 'HOW COULD I NOT KNOW OF THIS?' and almost turned around to fangirl at Rosen just on the grounds of what the bo ...more
INTRODUCTION: With the super enticing blurb below, "All Men of Genius" is a novel I have planned to read as soon as I could obtain a copy:

"Inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius takes place in a Victorian London familiar but fantastical, where mad science makes the impossible possible.

Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up-and-coming scientific minds, founded by the lat
I was lucky enough to get an advanced readers' copy of this book from one of my colleagues who met the author at Book Expo! I absolutely loved it!

In alternate Victorian England, there are many scientists who have mastered the ability to create inventions beyond the common man’s wildest dreams, using gears and steam for power. Illyria is a prestigious private school run by Duke Ernest, and takes only the best of men. Violet is not your typical Victorian girl; rather, she is a gifted scientist an
Katy Budget Books
Magen says: All Men of Genius, by Lev AC Rosen, has got to be one of my favorite reads this year so far. Having delved into a few other sci-fi and fantasy novels recently and being sorely disappointed, I found this book to be an absolute joy to read. Besides, who can resist a tale of gender-bending subterfuge with a generous dose of steampunk to boot?

The characters were likable, the dialogue witty, and the juxtaposition of gender stereotypes between Violet and her brother Ashton was very well do
Caroline Bartels
Oct 03, 2011 Caroline Bartels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This book is a blast to read! I'm kinding of digging this whole steampunk genre (I mean, the Parasol Protectorate series rocked this girl's world!) and this novel just made me giddy. The Importance of Being Earnest meets Twelfth Night (and I don't even like Shakespeare) are referenced all over the place and just make this even more fun. This is a tale of cross dressing, science, romance, rampaging automatons, and a brilliantly inventive young woman, Violet, who longs to be accepted into THE scie ...more
Nov 03, 2011 Elvira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science_fiction
A story about a young woman, Violet, and her desire to prove herself worthy to pursue a college education, which is restricted to her based on the social convictions of the Victorian era. Her pursuit leads her to disguising herself as a man in order to enter the college under her twin brother’s name and begin her adventure in learning among some of the brightest and craziest young scientists in London. Violet will set on an adventure of discovery of herself and of other women around her who have ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Hollowspine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed like it was custom made for me.

If you are also a fan of,

Oscar Wilde, especially THe Importance of Being Earnest
Shakespeare, especially his comedies (or only his comedies that is).
Steampunk, including all disciplines of science, from Jekyll and Hyde chemistry to giant robots.

You would really like this book. Violet a mechanical genius and young lady, would like nothing better than to attend the illustrious science academy Illyria, but unfortunately it only allows men. What's a gi
Jeff Raymond
While there are books I enjoy, and books that make me laugh, and books that are good because I learn something, reading All Men of Genius made me realize how few fiction books I get to read that are genuinely fun. There's a lot to be said about fun rides in a book, and this is one of them.

The good thing is that the book does have some fairly heavy and nontraditional topics. Instead of making them out to be Big Things, they're just part of the plot. A little homosexuality, a little gender-bending
Oct 05, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Steampunk Shakespearean comedy with killer robots.

Being set on entering a boys-only school for scientific geniuses, Violet disguises herself as her twin brother. Pranks and complications ensue, along with oodles of innuendo (and dashes of sex, mostly of the same-sex sort). Oh, and mad science, of which my favorite is the potty mouthed rabbit chimera.

This is an extreme case of the author wearing his influences on his sleeve--those influences being THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (and Wilde in ge
Dark Faerie Tales
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Beautifully written prose filled with women’s rights, love, and geniuses creating the impossible.

Opening Sentence: Violet and Ashton’s father was leaving for America to help decide where time should begin.

The Review:

Steampunk is a mixture of history and the fantastical imaginings of machines at the time of The Industrial Age. It’s a world where steam power is the dominant form of fuel and Victorian sensibilities prevail. Combine this idea wi
Jun 01, 2011 Karissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got an advanced reading copy of this book signed by the author at Book Expo America. I have been looking forward to reading it for some time. It was an excellent book; exquisitely written and creative. It was a slow but wonderful read.

Violet is a genius at building mechanical contraptions and wants desperately to go to the Illyria school for genius students; only problem is Illyria doesn't admit women. So Violet, along with her twin brother Ashton, and their friend Jack, devise a devious plan.
Sep 22, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm in love. Yes, in love. I didn't think it would happen again so soon. But then, I am sort of easy when it comes to a fabulous book. I found All Men of Genius to be an insanely clever, delightful and captivating book, worthy of a spot on any book lover's shelf.

My love for All Men of Genius happens to be of the "At First Sight" variety. When I eagerly opened the package from Tor, and slipped the book out, I sighed. Yes, I happen to be a cover snob. I'm not ashamed of that. I thought the cover
I am still pretty new to the steampunk genre, and I am still not sure how I feel about it. My first foray - Johannes Cabal the Necromancer - was not a success. But I am happy to report that this title has done considerable work to repair the damage the necromancer book did to my feelings about the genre.

All Men of Genius tags itself as a kind of steampunk-feminist blend of The Importance of Being Earnest and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night - which means you can pretty much guess the plot. Significa
Stacey O'Neale
Jan 29, 2012 Stacey O'Neale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review was completed by Amanda Harbin, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide.

When Simon Cowell was on American Idol and a contestant would get up on stage and attempt to belt out a Whitney or a Mariah song they were almost always given the same criticism, if you’re gonna sing a legends song then you better be prepared to sing like a legend. These were my first thoughts when I heard about All Men of Genius An author who takes on the ambitious task of paying tribute to literary icons such
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

When Violet Adams decides to disguise herself as a man and apply to Illyria College,she has no idea what she’s getting herself into,but is determined to prove herself in a man’s world and gain attention for her mechanical genius. With the dubious support of her twin brother,Ashton,and their friend and fellow Illyria student Jack,Violet embarks on a school year that she’ll never forget. Among the vast halls and clanking gea
Sep 15, 2011 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny that I read this book right after another that I criticized for being too derivative, because All Men of Genius is a steampunk mashup of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. In this case I really enjoyed the playful and inventive take on two great plays.

Violet Adams and her twin brother Ashton (Viola and Sebastian) are the center of the novel. Viola is a talented engineer who decides to disguise herself as Ashton in order to attend the elite all-ma
Jessica Strider
Nov 08, 2011 Jessica Strider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Pros: fabulous writing, witty, complex story with multiple subplots, endearing characters, emotional punch

Cons: the first 5 pages are a bit over the top, get past them and the rest of the book is fabulous

The Importance of Being Earnest meets Twelfth Night in this fabulously written debut novel. Violet Adams has a plan to attend the illustrious school of science, Illyria, by dressing the year as her twin brother Ashton. Being a man is more difficult than Violet considered, and it turns out to be
Maggie V
Oh what a wonderful retelling of Twelth Night! (I'm not familiar with The Importance of Being Earnest to comment on that connection.) Smart, strong women, strong, caring men, crossdressing, adventure, romance, scientific discovery, fighting ... this is definitely a "something for everyone" book. Violet was a great character, and the secondary characters were very individual and quirky. However, there were a lot of characters so that I had to flip back on occasion to see who was who (this was mor ...more
Abby Johnson
Oct 18, 2011 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genius inventress Violet Adams wants nothing more than to be admitted to Illyria College, a the most prestigious scientific school in Victorian London. The problem? They don't admit women. Undaunted, Violet disguises herself as her twin brother Ashton and is admitted. However, keeping her secret proves even harder than she'd imagined with love affairs blossoming all around her and the discovery of strange leftover science experiments in the basement of the school.

I thoroughly enjoyed this imagi
All Men of Genius is a book that steampunk fans should run to the bookstore to pick up. It’s a fun, not too serious romp through Victorian London. Rosen fills his pages with incredible mad science, Victorian manners and even a bit of challenging traditional gender roles. The plot is incredibly fast paced and peppered with some great one-liners in the dialogue. Despite the fact that the plot is pretty predictable, and some of the characters suffer from a little two-dimensionality, All Men of Geni ...more
May 23, 2011 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALL MEN OF GENIUS provides the playful wonder of a Harry Potter book with the adult themes of troubled Victorian society. Gender, sexual, and racial discrimination abound, and not all of our heros are guaranteed a happy ending. Rosen does a wonderful job making the science labs of Illyrian as magical as any Hogwarts lab, and adds a sexual spice that never quite broke the mold of polite society (though Mrs. Wilde's mail order business came close). The story did lag a bit for me in the middle, if ...more
Dec 11, 2011 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrific book, combining Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest, with a dash of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and a hint of Harry Potter.

When the novel started out I thought it was a young adult and a British boarding school invokes memories of Harry Potter but then as the plot evolved the writing seemed to transform to more adult almost a comedy of manners with a steampunk setting.

(view spoiler)
Jul 27, 2011 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really looking forward to the published edition!
Finally read the published version (I'm a lucky friend who gets to read some of Lev's stuff before it comes out, although I'm hardly an important reader) and it's a vast improvement on a story I had already enjoyed. Although it's a little slow and wordy in parts, the characters are well-fleshed and really engaging. The world is fascinating and I'd love to see more of it, and I loved the Shakespeare references. Producers, take note: this should b
Oct 09, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, sci-fi-fantasy
Look for my shelf talker after I figure out how to encapsulate how great this was in a very short space! Exciting story, setting, loved the main character and the secondary characters too. Not the most exciting tag but...

All Men of Genius
Lev A.C. Rosen

An alternative Steampunk
Victorian London, where
science makes the
impossible possible
is the setting for
this fun, funny and
charming debut novel.

Violet Adams - genius - wants
nothing more than to go
to Illyria College, the
brilliant school for
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA e dintorni: Libri di Lev AC Rosen (All Men of Genius) 4 17 Nov 06, 2011 12:55PM  
  • Agatha H and the Airship City (Girl Genius Novels, #1)
  • The Doomsday Vault (Clockwork Empire #1)
  • The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, #1)
  • The Immorality Engine (Newbury and Hobbes, #3)
  • Wild Cards and Iron Horses
  • Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, #1)
  • Heart of Iron
  • The Horns of Ruin
  • Morlock Night
  • The Dark Deeps (The Hunchback Assignments, #2)
  • Ghosts by Gaslight
  • Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti
  • Ganymede (The Clockwork Century, #3)
  • The Constantine Affliction
  • The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales, #1)
  • Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader
  • The Clockwork Man
  • Worldshaker (Worldshaker, #1)
LEV AC ROSEN is the author of the critically acclaimed All Men of Genius, which was an Amazon Best of the month, on over a dozen best of the year lists, and has been nominated for multiple awards. Publisher’s Weekly says it “puts a steampunk spin on the Victorian comedy of manners while sneakily critiquing the gender biases of both genres.” The Onion’s A.V. Club declares that it “slyly examines th ...more
More about Lev A.C. Rosen...

Share This Book

“It must be odd having a lover as a servant." Jack said. "You mean a servant as a lover." Violet said. "What you describe is merely how most men view marriage.” 5 likes
“Any fool can see you're a woman. Luckily, this is a school full of geniuses, so I don't think you'll have too much trouble.” 2 likes
More quotes…