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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2013
Like other reviewers, I'm not happy at the thought that this is the last in the series. These books have been a great addition to my extensive collection, and I could see plenty more adventures coming from them.

However, all is not lost as there are three further standalone novels planned - featuring Alice, the Mopsies (as older teenagers) and Willie all grown up. I for one am particularly keen to read the Mopsies' story, as they've been two of the best characters in this series in my opinion.

Back to this book, and the story itself is just as good as the previous instalments, and if you enjoyed them, then it's a fair assumption that you'll enjoy this one too. I do agree however that the ending is a bit of a let down, but perhaps only because we want more from t'Lady?

Overall, I'd recommend reading this book - if you've got this far, you'll need to read this one.
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on 3 March 2013
I loved this book, bought it the moment it came out in fact. Then I got to the last chapter, expecting a cliffhanger setting up the next book, only to find the major conspiracy resolved by one letter appearing on one page. Having read the rest of the series, I can only say that it was a hell of a let down.
A good book, let down by the ending.
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2014
I admit it. The whole "Magnificent Devices" serial sent me off on tangents of exploration causing me to spend about as much time exploring as I did reading the novels. I become overwhelmed by curiosity when I sit down to write some reviews and find that I "just have to" see what I can dig up about whatever it is that sets me off. Below are some more links.

Did you know that there was actually a Dunsmuir that was the richest man in Canada at the time Adina Shelley placed the Earl of Dunsmuir there? You didn't? I'm shocked. Well now you do. That Dunsmuir (James) was machinist, entrepreneur, industrialist, politician, and lieutenant governor. I'm thinking someone must have looked into the area before she wrote her novel. Not mentioning any names or anything.

Not only the US was a place of "Wild West" during the European invasion. People had to be killed and one-sided treaties signed. I am reworking my review on Zane Grey, going into more detail, and man is it ever depressing. Canada's Wild West mirrors the US Wild-West in many ways. Humans are the same wherever we invade.

In "Brilliant Devices" Queen Victoria and her spy Isobell Churchill work for the protection of the Equimoux. In our history, Queen Victoria did no such thing. She probably would have put you in Bedlam for even suggesting such a thing. That Davinia and John Dunsmuir are on their side is something Isobell Churchill does not know. I wonder why the Queen did not tell her.

I like the beginning of "Brilliant Devices" when Lady Claire Trevalyan, Mr. Andrew Malvern, Ms. Alice Chalmers, the Mopsies, Tigg and Jake pull off a miracle using the invention of Andrew, Claire, Tigg and Dr. Craig. It is fun the way Shelley Adina throws in little technical challenges along the way for the gang.

Claire and her little flock are as always ingenious and independent. The Mopsies are as obedient as always, spying for Claire whether she wants them to or not. I wonder at Claire's reticence, considering how often the Mopsies have come in handy. I guess Claire struggles with her own prejudices and her own fears, constantly forgetting that her charges have been exposed to dangers long before Claire entered their lives. All four charges prove their abilities several times.

Alice Chalmers is another character I like. She turns up in "Magnificent Devices" saving Claire three times and Andrew once. Alice continues her life-saving in Brilliant Devices. Both the Dunsmuirs and Graf von Zeppelin are impressed by her inventiveness. Her role is not limited to one of invention and rescue but also functions as an addition to the personality of Brilliant Devices.

As with the other three novels in the "Magnificent Devices" serial "Brilliant Devices" is a fun and adventurous addition giving me a few hours of fun.

[...]
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on 18 April 2013
The Lady and her crew, and her new (more skilled?) rescuer and friend Alice, make it to the Canadas, with only one major crash into the Rockies on the way. Alice is searching for her father, while the Lady meets up again with the Dunsmuirs, who are there to visit their diamond mine, which is currently suffering from some extremely unpleasant sabotage.

Once again, the author has created a wonderful story of invention, improvisation, plot and counterplot, and enough skullduggery to keep you on the edge of your seat. HOWEVER, for me at least, the story was spoiled by the intrusion of the newly-18 year old Lady Claire's hormones, which find her kissing Andrew and Ian Hollys, going off into daydreams at inconvenient times, getting jealous of Alice, and generally wasting a lot of time and energy which could have been better used on the plot. Okay, so it's a long time since I was that age, but the story up until now has proceeded very nicely, thank you, without such ponderings, and yet the author has succeeded in progressing Lady Claire's relationships with the young men in her life.

There are some extremely interesting revelations about Alice's father, and also Lady Dunsmuir, and a thrilling twist about the Esquimaux village, to say nothing about Count von Zeppelin. There's more character development of various members of the flock, but the true stalwarts of this tale are again Maggie and Lizzie, and the indomitable Rosie, the hen - athough I would have thought that by now her adventures would have put her off laying!

As other reviewers have said, the ending of this chapter in Lady Claire's life came extremely abruptly, almost as though the author had suddenly become bored, and wanted to move on to another, more interesting project. It would appear that she plans to abandon the Lady of Devices for the present, and follow instead the Mopsies. While there are still, I am sure, a lot of stories to come out of Lady Claire's future actions, the Mopsies deserve much more attention than they've had so far, and I look forward to their adventures - although I would like to be assured that when we do meet them again at "sixteen and on the verge of coming out as young ladies", we're not going to have the mawkishness that has been a distraction in this book, and which would be so out of character for the Mopsies as we know them.
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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2013
This is a fun series, that has developed not only a good and engrossing story line, but also its maturing characters. It also introduces a host of strong supporting characters, some who stay the course for the series, others who come and go.
The world setting is good, and the steampunk elements of the story, fairly minimal in the first book as I recall but well advanced here, are easily absorbed into the alternative Victorian world.
The nonsexist message is good, that young ladies are more than capable of managing themselves, and it's very nice the way Claire earns the respect she needs - her future at the end of this, the last in the series, is bright (sorry I seem to be lapsing into TV/advertising catch phrases!)
This isn't a sophisticated series, although it develops depth as it progresses. It would work fine for YA readers, but having said that I'm a far from young adult, and I have really enjoyed these books. The cover art work is pretty fine as well.
Why not 5 stars? Well as I said, the books are undemanding and fairly straightforward stories, fun to read for sure, but not meaty reads that challenge.
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on 23 March 2013
Once again Shelly Adina has written a story that rattles along from one problem to another for the heroine and her wards. Many twists and turns and seemingly impossible situations are resolved with consumate skill by lady Claire. Excellent fourth novel in this series and cannot wait until number 5
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on 11 June 2013
Once again a great book from Shelley Adina. So enthralling. I would recomend anyway who has found this genre to get stuck in.
But why when writing reviews do people go and describe the whole story??? The idea is to wet peoples appetite to have a read for themselves!!
As per the other good and helpful reviews this is to say I hope you enjoy the book as much as we all have.
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on 13 May 2015
These characters are becoming familiar friends and reading about them is a joy. More intrigue, more impossible situations and the introduction of a few new characters progresses the story forward with gentle haste.
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on 14 March 2013
LOVED this book .yet again a great story with Claire leading us through all sorts of adventures. Sad it's over and wish there were more books. I LOVED this book and the others in the series and you will too
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on 27 July 2013
I have loved this series. A newbie to Steampunk I really fancy living like that, although perhaps with IPads!

The strong females definitely are a real change in fiction!
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