by Shelley Adina
YA steampunk about a girl who likes to “see what will happen” when she conducts experiments, with somewhat disastrous results. But in a society where women of blood are groomed to run households, not laboratories, she has a fight on her hands to continue her education at university vs getting married off to the best situated fellow.
Circumstances change quickly and disastrously for Claire and she finds herself living by her wits. This story goes completely off the grid and her adventures surprised and entertained me greatly.
The most difficult part of this story was getting past my thought that I was about to read a typical school steampunk story and giving up trying to figure out all the names and characters and just forging ahead. They get called by last name, then title with first name, then nicknames – aaahhhggg. Those proper Brits. So confusing.
“A lady of resources makes her own luck.” (25)
Claire is plucky and inventive, but also kind. She really does make her own luck, by allowing people to make things up to her, by figuring things out herself and by rolling with the action and using the tools available to her at the time. It takes the story to places I didn’t expect which was quite enjoyable. Ultimately I think it ended where I hoped, but there is more to the story and I think there are at least two or three more books written already. It is YA, so there is a hint of a future romance, but nothing happened.
There is also some violence, poverty gangs, stealing, skulking and a little bit of killing. Oops. But nothing gory. I give this book 4 little vials shaped like stars, mix the contents together and you can knock at a garage full of people.