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 underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.
My biggest concern with this book is that I missed something. I feel like I got the general gist of it, but often the character would say something and I would be like:
Huh? When did that happen.
And I’d reread it and not really pick up on it.
I went to law school and passed the Texas state bar, so I’m not blaming that on me. I could, since I do have a tendency to speed read, BUT if I can handle reading about personal jurisdiction, I should be able to pick up on a 300 page YA book without wondering how the Main Character gets to point A to B.
The thing is, despite this, I really did enjoy Rebel Mechanics, it had a lot going for it. Save for the ship it pushed this book.
I really, really, hope that the ship I’m rooting for sails. Because that ship would be hot. The ship they have going right now is ack! Seriously, Verity, girl, get some common sense. You have something great right under your nose and you’re not even noticing it.
I really like governess stories in Historical Romances, and I think that’s why this one partially worked for me. That and despite Verity’s naivety, I did enjoy her and her charges especially as the book progressed. I just wish some aspects of the world would’ve been expanded on more.
I really did enjoy the set up-AU America where America is still part of the British empire and there’s magic and lords and ladies and all that good stuff. BUT like I said, I think Swendson only touched the surface of this premises.
That’s probably what bothered me the most, besides Verity’s extreme stupidity when it comes to relationships.
Yet, I don’t feel like reading this book was a waste of time. And I probably will continue reading on with the series, the thing about Rebel Mechanics is that it holds a lot of promise.
Particularly, with the character Lord Henry. There was enough mystery and intrigue about the lord of the manor with three wards, that made me intrigued even if Verity was a little bit of a bore. Well, not so much of a bore but a little TSTL.
Anyway, I don’t regret reading Rebel Mechanics the book picks up nicely about halfway through it and there are some intriguing ideas and plot-lines that I look forward to seeing expanded on in future installments.
Overall Rating: A solid B.