4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Lately I've found myself growing more attached to the genre of steampunk -- stories set in Victorian times or some other era of the past, but with some trappings of higher technology, usually steam-powered as the name implies. Cherie Priest's "Boneshaker," despite being set in America during the Civil War rather than Victorian England, cemented my interest, and I've since kept a sharp eye out for books that continue in this genre, especially Kindle books (where the genre seems more prominent than in print books). "Lady of Devices" caught my eye right away, both due to the steampunk nature and the promise of a good heroine.
I loved this book -- it presented a fascinating picture of an alternate London, and I fell in love with the main character. But one factor keeps me from rating it five stars.
Claire Trevelyn is the daughter of a viscount in an England that runs on steam power, and she wants nothing more than to attend university and become an engineer. Her mother has other plans -- because her family is of noble blood, she intends to marry Claire off to a prominent bloodline, and her schooling thus far has been preoccupied with dancing, etiquette, and catching a suitable husband. But when the family fortunes fall after her father's investments collapse, she finds herself searching for employment on the mean streets of London. Luck and her own quick thinking land her among a gang of young thieves... and help her catch the eye of young scientist Andrew Malvern, who's seeking a way to increase the efficiency of steam power. And soon Claire finds herself torn between helping the youngsters better their fortunes, or throwing her lot in with Andrew in order to better hers...
Shelley Adina spins a fun tale, with a London just alien enough to be interesting but still familiar. It's fascinating to see what's changed, and how the advent of technology alters the world and the social hierarchy -- this world pits Bloods, people of noble lineage, against Wits, people of common lineage but with intelligence and skills that advance their social standing, but it's obvious that the Bloods are facing a losing battle as society marches on. And of course, seeing modern devices with thoroughly Victorian flavors is a treat -- the "mother's helper" is obviously a steampunk Roomba, and landaus and drays are early prototypes of our modern-day cars and trucks.
Claire herself is a good heroine, and I enjoyed reading about her. She's no dainty lady or personality-less Bella Swan, and it's nice to see a young heroine who doesn't need a boyfriend or lover to make her life complete. But the book doesn't go to the opposite extreme either -- making a "strong" female character who has no personality beyond "strong, badass, and completely unfeminine." Too often books and movies either go to one of these extremes or the other, instead of finding a middle ground and making an actual female character instead of a caricature. Claire fits into this middle ground nicely -- she wants to better herself and make use of her engineering skills without relying on a man, but she still holds her skills at deportment and etiquette as valuable. It was a joy to get to know her, and I'd like to see where her tale takes her.
Other characters are an entertaining mix, and many of them have their own unique personalities. I enjoyed the gang of youngsters that attach themselves to her, with their wide variety of personalities and quirks. Andrew is an intelligent scientist but also a kind soul, and the author resisted making him a stereotypical eccentric scientist and gave him his own unique character. Andrew's business partner, Lord James, and Claire's mother are more stereotypical characters -- the former the society snob with an eye for Claire because she's different, the latter the typical stick-in-the-mud parent who just wants to see Claire married off -- but they still serve their roles in the story.
My main complaint with this book is that it feels like it ends without resolving anything. It annoys me when books do this, as it feels like a cheap trick to make you purchase the next book in the series. The fact that, like many Kindle series, they make the first book free and then charge you for the sequels, does not escape me, but I still feel it's a dirty trick.
A great steampunk tale with a clever heroine, I still wish the story had some kind of resolution. As it is, it feels like I got half a book, and am left feeling cheated that the rest of the story has to be purchased in a separate volume.