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Rebel Mechanics

(Rebel Mechanics #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,598 ratings  ·  518 reviews
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 und
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Popular Answered Questions
Coral As of today both of the other books in the series are already out
Merry Love Nope. It's a trilogy. The 2nd book came out in July. =)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,598 ratings  ·  518 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

“Magic vs. Machines” seems to be a recurring theme in my YA lately, and Shanna Swendson’s alternate history steampunk fantasy novel Rebel Mechanics is my latest venture. In it, we go back to 1888 New York City in the American colonies still under British rule. The revolutionary war never happened because the Britain have magic on their side, but the desire for independence cannot be extinguished. Instead, a new faction o
Paige  Bookdragon
All is fair in love and revolution.

First of all, I thought Verity is a few months away from 18, which means she's already 17. So that mojo that she's 16 yrs old is weird.

Anyway, Rebel Mechanics is an okay read despite the fact that the characters (all of them) are kinda bland. There wasn't any witty remark, any funny scenes or any thrilling part in the book. It's a tad boring for me, but some of my friends enjoyed it.

This book has:

No foul language.
No gory scenes.
No sex scenes.
Possible love
This and other reviews on my blog My Friends Are Fiction

My Thoughts:
I went into Rebel Mechanics with a bit of trepidation. I haven’t had the best luck with steampunk books so I was thinking this would fall into the same traps. I was so surprised with how enjoyable I found this story to be. I enjoyed that the book combined an alternate history with steampunk. This combination made for a really enticing read.

I was immediately absorbed into the world and main character, Verity. The pacing was fas
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Initial Thoughts: Maybe I foolishly thought the life of a spy would be a bit more exciting. That aspect really let me down. I liked all of the characters except for the main character, Verity. She was so plain and dull in comparison to the others. I liked the setting and the premise of the story, I felt we only skimmed the surface of everything though. Overall I was bored with this book and couldn't wait for it to be over. Full review to come.

Read the full review @ A Perfection Called Books

Gillian Berry
4.5 stars

I adored reading that! My god, was that some delightful fun. Adorable boy, fun rebel shenanigans, a feisty yet practical heroine, plays on a bunch of tropes, and alternate history to boot.. If you love stories about governesses, nobility, magic, New York City, steampunk gadgets, or--must be said again--completely adorable boys, read Rebel Mechanics, because reading it was pure pleasure. It's short and zippy and not too deep, but sometimes that's perfect. I'm so full of SQUEE. (And I too
Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Swendson’s alternate reality to this steampunk 19th century story was brilliant and cleverly done. As someone who just loves history, this was something I was excited to read from the get-go, and Swendson did not disappoint—she gave me everything I expected and a lot more.

I was quite amazed by how she seamlessly inserted magic to this historical fiction novel. She hit it in all the right places; magic affected social class, mobility, technology, and even the course that h
**I received this book for free from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Steampunk, Alternate History
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

Rebel Mechanics is an Alternate History/Steampunk driven novel that takes place in the 1888 American Colonies. Yes, you did read that right. In this universe, the Americans lost the Revolutionary War, the British still rule, and those with Magic, magisters, are
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uppercase
4 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I really liked the main character, Verity. I also enjoyed the alternative world in 1888, New York where non-magical mechanics want to start a revolution against magisters (people with magic). I wish there was a bit more magic rather than just powering machines and transportation though. I really like Henry and I wasn't super surprised that he wasn't just a magister. I wasn't sure who to trust because everything wasn't black and w
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was a clever alternative reality having to do with magic.

I loved Verity and her feistiness. She knows what is expected of her position, but it doesn't stop her from doing the things she thinks are right. The kids are adorable and Lord Henry was quite fun. There are a few of the rebels who were also fun characters.

The description of the magic and the machines was easy to follow and I didn't feel overwhelmed at the history portion of the book. Even the ending was satisfying.

All in all, a q
Oda Renate
all the stars all the stars ALL THE STARS!
A great alternative history, WITH magic.
even though it wasent very unpredictable it was VERY ENJOYABLE.
the hot male characters SWOON SWOON.. ahhh..
the mystery.
the shananigans..
I loved the chapter titles
Also its the first in a trilogy so yayyyyy!!!!!!!!!
Hallie Szott
Reading Challenge Categories:
-#Ampersand2019 Reading Challenge: A book with a two-word title
-Beat the Backlist Reading Bingo: Alternate history or future
-Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge: A book you've been meaning to read
-Read Harder Challenge: An alternate history novel
-#ReadingUSA: New York
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I heard about Rebel Mechanics, I was quite eager to read it. I've recently discovered that I like these types of steampunk books and I was hoping that this series would have a similar feel to the Enchanted, Inc. series. So I pre-ordered the book and when I noticed it on my Kindle yesterday, I immediately started reading it.

I'll start off the review by saying that what I was hoping for this book was exactly what I got--perhaps even better than I had hoped for. It's a fantastic steampunk ligh
Gardenia L
Verity Newton is a young lady who is going to be a governess for a wealthy family. She decides to take the train to the interview. On the train, a robbery takes place. Verity only notices that the Masked Bandits' leader has icy, pale blue, cold, hard eyes. She leaves the train station to see horse-drawn carriages and omnibuses and magical horseless carriages. When her bus ride stops at the farthest point it can go, she gets on a steam powered bus, where everyone onboard has a red ribbon tied to ...more
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebel Mechanics is really more deserving of about 2.5 stars but I'm rounding up, because while the story lacks depth and subtlety, it's a rollicking read and there's so much potential here that I'm definitely signing on to read the next book in the series. I wish Swendson had gone into more detail with her characters, with their motivation and the plot itself, and hadn't hurried things along so much; I suspect she got sidetracked by world building and I think all will likely improve in future in ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: Fancy Gear
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: What If, With Magic
Bonus Factors: Steampunk, Robin Hood
Anti-Bonus Factor: Series Starter
Relationship Status: Let’s Be Friends (No, Really)

Read the full book report here.
Brandy Painter
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
3.5 stars

Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson caught my attention with the title and held it with the synopsis. This sounded like a great fit for me and the perfect read for the mood I was in at the time. While I have a few quibbles, it is a fun read that brought me much enjoyment.

Verity Newton is newly arrived in New York City after being not so gently pushed out the door by her father. Her trip to the city was eventful as the train she wa
Dark Faerie Tales
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-by-zed
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales (

Quick & Dirty: Steampunk historical fiction mixed with magic, an unconventional governess and plenty of secrets.

Opening Sentence: If I’d let myself think about what might lie ahead for me, I’d have been terrified.

The Review:

Rebel Mechanics has the ideal mix of historical fiction and magic. I love a gutsy heroine who is conscious of society expectations but will overlook this for the people that matter. And that is exactly what Ver
Blake T
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-nine-weeks
When this book started out I thought it was just another book. This is not just another book! When a 17-year-old girl named Verity seeks a job in New York City, her train is robbed and she notices that the lead bandit has icy blue eyes that anyone could notice from a mile away. When she arrives in New York she goes to selected houses to apply for a governess position. Verity decides to take a bus downtown and notices a boy selling newspapers. Verity walks over to him, purchases a paper, and asks ...more
Stacie (Shy Book Nerd)
I'm not one who is usually into historical fiction type of books, but right away this one caught my eye. This was historical fiction yet with a twist that had captivated me from beginning to end. Instead of technology becoming a huge thing, Magisters are the ones in control. This caught my eye because wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a world full of magic? Well it didn't disappoint.

First we meet Verity Newton, the main character. She had just moved to New York in fetch of a job because she no
Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
4.5 stars

Brilliant really!

Steam punk has alway seemed interesting, but I haven't had too much success with this genre. I was looking for something a little different to read, and this was perfect! The steam punk elements fit seamlessly into the story and it doesn't feel like the plot is just built around the steam punk.

The Characters
I don't think I have read a character more like myself than Verity. I was almost weird to read about at times! She pretty much thought and acted the same way I would
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebel Mechanics had all the things I love about books. There was an imaginative alternate US where the British were still in power. They also have a strict divide among classes, those Magisters who have power and the common people who don't. There was masked swoony bandits and some good old fashioned espionage! It all came together really well in this unique steampunk-esque setting.

Read full review here -
Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers)
This was not my normal kinda read, but it turned out to be pretty dam awesome! I'm sooo excited to see where this revolution goes, and if machines will prevail over magic! BRING IT SHANNA SWENDSON, I'M READY!!!


Rating & Review To Come...
Sarah K
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was everything! Seriously, you need to read it if you haven't!

The writing was fantastic, the action and romance were spot on. I wished I lived in this world of revolutionaries and magic. I will absolutely buy book 2!
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent steampunk adventure with spies, magic and all manner of shiny machines. A bit dense with strategy at times but overall so enjoyable.
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard for me to believe this, but Rebel Mechanics is my very first Steampunk story! Somehow with my mission to try out different genres, I’ve always managed to miss this one. The closest I’ve come is the New Weird genre with the excellent Unwrapped Sky, which had some Steampunk elements to it, but overall was nothing in comparison to Rebel Mechanics. So this was a very fresh experience!

First off, I connected with Verity [whose name always made me think of Code Name Verity, a very fabulous s
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 stars

Before I talk about Rebel Mechanics and while I have you here reading my review, I want to talk about Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted, Inc. series. Back when I was in high school, I found Enchanted, Inc. at the library. I was into so-called chick-lit at the time, and I grabbed it. Of all the novels I found randomly perusing the library shelves, that one was my favorite. I’ve only read the first four books in the series, not having managed to find time to read the self-published books that c
Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)
Rebel Mechanics is about an alternate universe where the 13 Colonies have not rebelled against the British Empire and the Brits control the colonies and its people with the use of magic. Our protagonist is Verity, a young girl who comes to New York to find work and finally be off on her own. In the process she becomes involved in an underground world where many geniuses come together to rebel against the upper class, the British, and the ‘magpies’ (all pretty much the same people).

My feelings ab
While not a bad book, because it was certainly entertaining, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson was utterly predictable.  I knew how it was going to end probably before the author did.  So let's talk about what made it tick - and what didn't.

Verity Newton as the main character was boring.  Seriously, Swendson couldn't have chosen a more tedious character to narrate this novel, despite being a half-breed that can potentially cause conflict down the road.  And while she wasn't unlikeable per s
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

triangle border

'Rebel Mechanics' is the kind of book that I really enjoyed while reading; an interesting and unique concept that kept me invested as I read. But at the end of the day, I can't say that I have any passionate feelings for the book one way or the other. If someone were to ask me if I liked 'Rebel Mechanics', I would answer with an enthusiastic "YES!" However, when I think back to what I really loved about the book, I can't really pinpoint anything that blew me away.  I will say that m

MrsJoseph *grouchy*

Welcome to Clean Up Week at Books, Life & Wine ! This is a week in which I am cleaning up and clearing OUT some of my lingering open reads. I have a LOT of books that I'm "currently reading" right now - some of which have been open for over a year. O_O

Today I am dismissing Rebel Mechanics because bored shitless. DNF at 20%.

Rebel Mechanics sounds like a lot of fun...until I remember that I have a dislike for the antics of young people and the heroine is
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