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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but rife with Americanisms and fact-checking could be better
At 18 and just finishing her rather confining ladies' school education, Lady Claire Trevelyan is far more interested in scientific discovery than she is in the traditional art of snaring an aristocratic spouse. She despises the more superficial amongst her classmates and longs for a life as a scientist and adventurer. It is only after her father's shock demise, and an...
Published on 4 Jan. 2012 by Seren Ade

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy
Shelley Adina writes a good yarn but as others have said, spoils the story with lack of research and applying Americanisms to British characters in reported speech. It's just lazy, Shelley. A quick Google would have given you enough detail on Queen Victoria and *Prince* Albert to get dates and titles right.

My other objection is that the book ends halfway...
Published on 16 Jan. 2013 by Helen Fitch


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but rife with Americanisms and fact-checking could be better, 4 Jan. 2012
By 
Seren Ade (UK) - See all my reviews
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At 18 and just finishing her rather confining ladies' school education, Lady Claire Trevelyan is far more interested in scientific discovery than she is in the traditional art of snaring an aristocratic spouse. She despises the more superficial amongst her classmates and longs for a life as a scientist and adventurer. It is only after her father's shock demise, and an unexpected reversal in the family's fortunes that Claire begins to see opportunities that will enable her to pursue her own destiny. Her mother, younger brother and some of the family's retainers depart for the family estate in Cornwall, leaving Claire with the responsibility for concluding the family's London life and overseeing the sale of their townhouse. But an attack on the family home, and then herself, lead to a total change in Claire's circumstances - presenting challenges, adventure, and an opportunity for her to take charge of her own destiny... if she only has the courage.

Claire falls in with a gang of thieves - the very gang that had sought to rob her - when she discovers that they're a rag-tag group of children in sore need of education, moral guidance and some serious scientific up-dating!

I generally liked this steampunk novel - about a titled, wealthy, but intelligent young woman on the brink of being forced into a straitjacketed existence that really doesn't suit her character at all. It's a stirring and interesting fantasy adventure and I enjoyed it considerably. But it's not without fault. Shelley Adina's world introduces a range of fictitious 'devices'/wider applications of gadgets than actually occurred. All good so far. But there are also a number of factual inaccuracies/historical liberties taken in the background set-up that aren't acknowledged. The US author's language isn't always convincing ("fall" for 'autumn' isn't a typical feature of 19th C British English) and English schoolgirls completing their schooling in the 1880s aren't normally as closely associated with graduation parties as seems to be the case here!

The heroine wants to attend university at Oxford and there are several references to the institution, including the statement that "she could have gone for a master's degree at Oxford with that" ['that' referring to an amount of money]. However, although Oxford had opened its doors to female students by 1889 (the year in which this novel is set), this was only a limited admissions policy. Women were able to attend lectures, sit examinations (and receive honours in those exams) but were debarred from receiving the degree that the same results and being born male would have entitled them to... until 1920.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but rife with Americanisms and fact-checking could be better, 26 Jan. 2012
By 
Seren Ade (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel: 1 (Magnificent Devices) (Paperback)
At 18 and just finishing her rather confining ladies' school education, Lady Claire Trevelyan is far more interested in scientific discovery than she is in the traditional art of snaring an aristocratic spouse. She despises the more superficial amongst her classmates and longs for a life as a scientist and adventurer. It is only after her father's shock demise, and an unexpected reversal in the family's fortunes that Claire begins to see opportunities that will enable her to pursue her own destiny. Her mother, younger brother and some of the family's retainers depart for the family estate in Cornwall, leaving Claire with the responsibility for concluding the family's London life and overseeing the sale of their townhouse. But an attack on the family home, and then herself, lead to a total change in Claire's circumstances - presenting challenges, adventure, and an opportunity for her to take charge of her own destiny... if she only has the courage.

Claire falls in with a gang of thieves - the very gang that had sought to rob her - when she discovers that they're a rag-tag group of children in sore need of education, moral guidance and some serious scientific up-dating!

I generally liked this steampunk novel - about a titled, wealthy, but intelligent young woman on the brink of being forced into a straitjacketed existence that really doesn't suit her character at all. It's a stirring and interesting fantasy adventure and I enjoyed it considerably. But it's not without fault. Shelley Adina's world introduces a range of fictitious 'devices'/wider applications of gadgets than actually occurred. All good so far. But there are also a number of factual inaccuracies/historical liberties taken in the background set-up that aren't acknowledged. The US author's language isn't always convincing (although an earlier feature of the langage, "fall" for 'autumn' isn't a typical feature of late 19th C British English) and English schoolgirls completing their schooling in the 1880s aren't normally as closely associated with graduation parties as seems to be the case here!

The heroine wants to attend university at Oxford and there are several references to the institution, including the statement that "she could have gone for a master's degree at Oxford with that" ['that' referring to an amount of money]. However, although Oxford had opened its doors to female students by 1889 (the year in which this novel is set), this was only a limited admissions policy. Women were able to attend lectures, sit examinations (and receive honours in those exams) but were debarred from receiving the degree that the same results and being born male would have entitled them to... until 1920.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, 16 Jan. 2013
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Shelley Adina writes a good yarn but as others have said, spoils the story with lack of research and applying Americanisms to British characters in reported speech. It's just lazy, Shelley. A quick Google would have given you enough detail on Queen Victoria and *Prince* Albert to get dates and titles right.

My other objection is that the book ends halfway through the story. As there are other books this just looks like a deliberate money-making ploy and the book just isn't good enough to make me want to spend money to find out what happens.

The author evidently didn't think her lack of attention to detail would matter but it matters enough to have warranted several reviewers to comment and in my case not to bother with any more of her books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY Interesting Start to a Series, 3 Sept. 2014
By 
Mr. N. J. Hixson (Wales) - See all my reviews
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I've seen a few reviews on here laying into the "Americanisms", fact checking and the like. I only noticed one or two, and it in no way dragged me out of the book.

The fact is that this is "speculative fiction". Given that the story presupposes that steam is the predominant power (over and above what it would have been capable of at the time) and (slight spoiler) that the combustion engine is close to a non-starter, we can also assume a few other differences.

In fact I can't recall if in this timeline the America's ever achieved independence...if they did not then it is likely that we would be seeing further cross-pollination of speak than actually took place, and thus more Americanisms.

But that is speculation by me. The main thrust is that on the few times I noticed it, it wasn't enough to "take me out of the story" so to speak.

From what I can tell it was pretty much self published (I'm not sure if the small press that published it is a self run business). If so it is among the top percent of self published books I have read.

The characters are believable (or as close to it as you can get in steampunk, which isn't usually my cup of tea), the storyline so far interesting, and the world is fascinating.

I immediately went and bought the Omnibus Edition on Kindle which contains the first 4 books. There have been very few (2 I think) of these "Freebie" entry books into a series which have grabbed me enough to buy another, this has just added to that list.

There is the problem that many of these freebie first books suffer from - specifically not giving you the right ending for it to feel like a complete book, but then that's how they get you buying into their series and whilst I'm not a fan of the tactic, I can understand it - and when the story is as interesting and as well written as this I can forgive it.

All in all I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the next few books in the series. I can say that about very few other "free" books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, 29 Oct. 2014
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'Lady of Devices' is the story of a young woman, Claire, as she loses the life she knows and decides she must find a way to get the life she wants.

I downloaded this when I saw it was on free offer as I'd never tried reading something in the steampunk genre before, and when I started reading this I'll admit I wasn't too sure that I was going to enjoy it. I prefer modern settings in general so I found it quite hard to get into this to begin with. It took until about 40% in to really hook me which is longer than usual, but that's largely due to adjusting to the setting and I'm really glad I persevered, because once it hooked me I was really invested in the characters and loving the surprising way the story was unfolding. Claire is an intelligent, resourceful and determined character and I can't wait to see how the rest of her story unfolds.

Overall it's a well plotted story with an excellent main character, and a fantastic start to a series I will need to keep reading. Highly recommended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pure exposition., 28 July 2014
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This is (yet another) case of the first book in a series being nothing more than exposition. The premise is interesting and holds great scope for adventure and exploration and Claire, the protagonist, is a strong woman with clear-cut motives. This book could be incredibly enjoyable, and the series certainly holds that potential. However, there is no sense of resolution or a real story arc due to its being the first book in a series and, thus, exposition. That being said, the writing is clean, and it was a short, fun read. It will no doubt hook many readers into continuing with the series, but I doubt I’ll be one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Positively Scintillating!, 16 Sept. 2014
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I loved it! Yes, it's a YA novel and reads as such, yes, a certain suspension of belief is required (Claire's underworld takeover is startling in its rapidity...) but it is nonetheless a rollicking good yarn.
Stylistically a little simple maybe and some Americanisms (e.g.Fall for Autumn) grate slightly, but these are mere quibbles.
The steampunkery appears to be consistent, although I'm not an expert in the field and the author has so far wisely kept politics to minimum of necessity.
Looking forward to the rest of the quadrilogy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I read a ton of steampunk as I researched my own books and this was of the better ones I read, 25 Jan. 2015
By 
D Brookes (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
A really interesting start to the series. I read a ton of steampunk as I researched my own books and this was of the better ones I read. The main characters, Claire and Andrew, are fun and feisty, and although this is clearly a book set in England but written by an American author, the plot zips along at a fair old pace. I felt a little let down by the cliff hanger ending, but it's well worth the ride. Recommended!

9 / 10
David Brookes
Author of the 'Professor Arnustace' steampunk mystery series.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, 22 Jun. 2011
A bit like Catherine Webb's Horatio Lyle, the main character is an amateur scientist shunned by society. 'The Lady' makes the best of a bad situation teaming up with pickpockets. An easy and fun read, I just wish it was longer or the next in series published already!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love the heroine, 1 July 2014
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Mrs. Pamela Henderson (knaresborough yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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Made a nice change to have a heroine - some lady even if she has a lot of luck very brave for the era and interesting theme.
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