Review for Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson

RebelMagistersRebel Magisters
By: Shanna Swendson
Release Date: July 12th 2016
Publisher:  NLA Digital
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Tea, Love … and Revolution!

The Rebel Mechanics aren’t the only group plotting revolution against the magical British Empire. There are rebel magisters, as well, and Verity Newton and her magister employer, Lord Henry, know that the only way for the revolution to succeed is if both groups work together. A diplomatic mission seems like the perfect opportunity for them to meet with rebels in other colonies and gather support—right under the governor’s nose.

From drawing rooms, ballrooms, and the harbor in Boston to the streets of Charleston, Verity and Henry find themselves up against stubborn factions of both magisters and Mechanics and increasingly aware that they can only really count on each other as their relationship deepens. It may take a real crisis to unite the rebel movements and rally them to the cause—but could such a crisis also tear them apart?

My Thoughts:
I absolutely adored Rebel Mechanics, book 1 of this series. It was so beautifully done and I fell head over heels in love with Lord Henry. I was so excited to read this next installment and see what Verity was up to.

This novel was very much in the same vein as the first book. The pacing was even and the characters stayed true to themselves. Once again I loved Verity and especially enjoyed her scenes (far too few for my taste though) with Henry. This time around we did get to know some of her charges- especially the eldest, Flora. I love that no one was exactly as they are face value. You never know who might be thinking of revolution.

In the last book Verity became aware that her Rebel Mechanics had deceived her to get her to be part of goals- I liked that Verity didn’t forget this fact. She still wasn’t trusting them 100% though she could understand the motivations behind their actions. In this novel Verity, in essence, becomes the bridge between her Mechanics and the Magisters that want things to change too. I loved how complicated things could be between these true groups and how pulled Verity was to both sides.

And, my favorite part, the relationship between Henry and Verity- we get a few amazing moments but I need mooooore. There are never enough pages between these two. They have the perfect chemistry and banter and I want oh so much more. There will be another book so I’m hoping they will have even more time together.

RebelMagistersIG

Final Thoughts:
Rebel Magisters was so much fun to read and was one of those books you can easily sink into and lose a few hours. I love how quickly paced this series is though you don’t lose any of the character depth and investment.

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Underrated Books

I love today’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday- Underrated books- each of these books I’m sharing have less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. I thought each was well worth the read so CHECK THEM OUT.

I chose books that are first of their series or stand-alones. Each of these books is available right now too so don’t hesitate to buy or borrow.  I found that a lot of my fave sequels had less than 2000 ratings but that’s a post for a different day.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke an the Bookish. Each week a different question is posed and gives us bloggers an opportunity to share our top tens on all different types of bookish topics.

Top Ten Underrated Books

Steampunk Fun

22811807This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

My Review

22718701Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

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 Review

Historical/Fantasy

21936937Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Why You Should Read Blackhearts

23495112The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

My Review

Sherlock Inspired

24885790Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case,Mori may never trust Lock again.

My Review

18080011Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who’s also a genius with a passion for forensics.

Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He’s even harder to resist when he’s up close and personal – and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.

When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer’s trail, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…

My Review

Diverse Contemporary

23399267Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again.

My Review

Top Ten Tuesday- My Top Ten Reads So Far in 2015

I saw Becca on Twitter talking about doing her Top Ten Tuesday (meme created by The Broke and the Bookish) post and I really liked the prompt this week so thought I’d jump in and do one. So, here I go, attempting to pick ten of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year. I’m most likely going to forget a couple. These are not in order of my love and adoration.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2015

23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- I love Leigh Bardugo. I’ve read everything I can find of hers and she is on my “read no matter what” list. I had high expectations for SoC and let me tell you- it lived up to ALL of them. I can’t recommend this one enough. I fell in love with the characters, especially Kaz. Go into this one expecting the Grisha world but a different feel than the prior series.
Release Date: September 29th 2015

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff- I’ll admit it I was worried I’d not like this one. I thought that the way it was written with e-mails, chats, etc would not allow me to bond with the characters or really connect to the story. How wrong I was! I fell in love with the characters and the story was sublime. I will be reading this one again and pushing it on my husband (who’s not a reader). This sci fi hit all the right notes for me.
Release Date: October 20th 2015

23719469An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet- If you’re like me you see the crow on the cover and you think- that looks similar to SoC. I decided to request it based on the description and I’m so glad I did. This book was slow paced and so atmospheric. I really loved the slow build and quiet eeriness Bobet provoked with her writing. I totally shipped the wrong couple (oops) and I’m still in love with one of the characters. I really, really need another book concerning this character! His story had so much more in my opinion. If you like Not a Drop to Drink then you might enjoy this one too. It is a much different story but the feel was similar to me.
Release Date: October 6th 2015

25068467Uprooted by Naomi Novak- Have you been on Twitter? If so you’ve probably seen the hype surrounding this book. It has many, many folks saying how wonderful it is so I was intimidated to read it. I had the feeling I’d love it because it hit so many of the things I adore but I was still nervous since I had HIGH expectations. I am so thrilled that I loved it. The writing was strong and I loved the fairy tale feel. The Dragon was such a great character and over all this book was just fabulous. MY REVIEW
Out Now

untitledRebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson- I was really in the need for just this type of book when I read Rebel Mechanics. It was fun, fast paced and I loved Lord Henry. I couldn’t help but picture him as the 10th Doctor so I fell madly in love with him. That love drove me through the story and had me giddy for each of his scenes. The rest of the book was good too, haha! I really liked the mix of alternate history and steampunk and really just found it an all around good time. MY REVIEW
Release Date: July 14th 2015

Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.inddBeastly Bones by Will Ritter- Last year I fell in love with Jackaby so I immediately dove into this sequel when a copy arrived. I adored the writing, story and it had DINOSAUR BONES. I loved the archeology bits and really the characters are amazing. How can you not love Jackaby? I think these books are amazingly fun and I hope we get to see many, many more adventures in the future.
Release Date: September 22nd 2015

23719270Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman- THAT COVER. THAT SUMMARY. This book was so well done. I was surprised by the twists, I was horrified, I was moved. I was so happy to see a YA go with the western feel and really I can’t say enough about this book. I was really surprised with just how powerful and amazing this one was because it’s a standalone and I’ll admit that at times I feel those are rushed (with character development). Not so in VR. I felt attached to all the characters, main and secondary. I was very concerned for everyone’s well being which is saying a lot.
Release Date: September 1st 2015

18488433The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace- I didn’t hear a whole lot about this one when I requested it but based on the summary I felt confident it would be a ‘Kristen book’ I was right. I loved the pacing, story arc and setting. I thought the characters were wonderfully crafted and I loved the magic system Becky created. It had a fantasy feel but also sort of a history feel since the world was so realistic and easy to believe. MY REVIEW
Release Date: Out Now

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab- I really loved Victoria’s YA books but let me just say her adult (crossover?) books are AMAZING. I absolutely love the direction her writing has taken and this world building was stellar. Alternate worlds, cross dressing pirates, bad ass characters. What’s not to love?  MY REVIEW
Release Date: Out Now

T21569527he Heart of Betrayal by Mary Pearson- THIS BOOK. I was on the edge of my seat, completely gripped and blown away. Most sequels aren’t better than the first book but this one was. This book was so incredibly well done I must reread it, and soon. I really can’t wait to see how Mary breaks my heart with the next book. Do be kind Mary, please?
Release Date: July 7th 2015 

There are more I could add! Even as I type this I’m thinking of other books I loved (END OF DAYS, ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, etc) the list could go on and on. I obviously have read some amazing books this year so far.

Link to your Top Ten Tuesday if you did one if not- what are some of your favorite books you’ve read this year?

Review of Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

RebelMechanicsRebel Mechanics
By: Shanna Swendson
Release Date: July 14th 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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 Thoughts:
I went into Rebel Mechanics with a bit of trepidation. I haven’t had the best luck with steampunk books so I was thinking this would fall into the same traps. I was so surprised with how enjoyable I found this story to be. I enjoyed that the book combined an alternate history with steampunk. This combination made for a really enticing read.

I was immediately absorbed into the world and main character, Verity. The pacing was fast and the steam-punk aspects were a good amount of the story but it didn’t drive the writing. I find that a lot of times it feels like a story was created to feature the steampunk machines but for this book it seemed like an aside to the story-line. I really loved that.

The society in Rebel Mechanics was broken into classes- the Magisters and then the folks with no magical ability. Of course there was division and hatred between the groups and really this drove the story. I found this not to be an entirely unique concept but it worked incredibly well and really, magic= happiness for Kristen. Swendson really captured a revolutionary atmosphere and it gave the book a historical feel though it was an alternate reality.

My favorite character hands down was Lord Henry. He reminded me a bit of the 10th Doctor which I adored. I couldn’t help but see him as David Tennant. Not a bad thing at all.

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Lord Henry was such a fun character and I’d be happy reading a story solely about him. His interactions with Verity were perfect and so cute. The other characters, like the children Verity is governance for, are well rounded and incredibly likeable. The rebels were understandable in their motives even if I didn’t always love the way they approached their cause.

As for the story in this one it was fun and not too heavy. It was a tad easy to predict and I saw the twists playing out before the reveals but honestly that didn’t detract from the story for me. I just found this book to be so engaging and really refreshing.

Final Thoughts:
I really loved Rebel Mechanics. I thought it was such an entertaining read that kept me glued from start to finish. I’m completely sold on these characters and can’t wait for more (there had better be a sequel).

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review (solicited):

HoB RebelMechanics

Storyspinner

Won (thank you Page Morgan!):

PageMorganUK

Purchased:

Fairest TMO

I only purchased Fairest but I liked the picture of all the books so I thought I’d include it. Look at The Mime Order–it is so beautiful in person.

All the pretties…

1302015

Last Week’s Posts

  • Review of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • Discussion– Is our audience also our competition?
  • Lego Art– Taylor Swift’s 1989 Cover
  • ReviewThe Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury   star
  • Discussion– I have limited taste in books

Upcoming Posts

  • Interview with Melinda Salisbury-first week of February
  • Interview with Becky Wallace-second week of February
  • I’ll be participating in 12 Days of Fictional Swooning Hop- February 13th
  • Interview with Karen Bao- end of February
  • I’m working on my next Lego Cover- The Wrath & The Dawn

Giveaways

Click on the picture to go to the giveaway

 9780399171611_large_The_Wrath_and_the_Dawn TheStartofMeandYou

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