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:

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.


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.


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:

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.

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).