Book review: Rebel Mechanics: All is Fair in Love and Revolution, by Shanna Swendson

Swendson, Shanna. Rebel Mechanics: All is Fair in Love and Revolution. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015. $17.99. ISBN 9780374300098. 310 pgs. Ages 12+. P8Q8

swendson-rebel-mechanicsVerity Newton, who is 17 years old, finds a job as a governess in New York City for a leading Magister (magical/ British upperclass) family. She soon finds herself befriended by a group of rebel Mechanics who want revolution! Not only does Verity have to hide her relationship with her new friends from her employer, she has to hide (from her friends and her boss) the fact that she has some magical talent herself. She soon learns that Lord Henry, her boss, has secret revolutionary leanings of his own. I enjoyed the fast paced story, light romance, steam powered engines, references to magic, and the era (colonial America, as if the revolution hadn’t happened). I found this book a little different from many steampunk YA novels. Setting the story in the American colonies is refreshing, and the contrast between mechanical and magical is unusual.

VERDICT: Fans of steampunk will enjoy this exciting novel, and will look forward to the second in the series,  Rebel Magisters.

February 2017 review by Carol Schramm.

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