Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Series: Rebel Mechanics #1
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on July 14, 2015
Genres: Alternative History, Fantasy, Steampunk
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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.
Welcome to Clean Up Week at Books, Life & Wine! This is a week in which I am cleaning up and clearing OUT some of my lingering open reads. I have a LOT of books that I’m “currently reading” right now – some of which have been open for over a year. O_O
Today I am dismissing Rebel Mechanics because bored shitless. DNF at 20%.
Rebel Mechanics sounds like a lot of fun…until I remember that I have a dislike for the antics of young people and the heroine is 16 years old. Verity, our heroine, is 16/17 years old but already college educated. As Verity has a poor relationship with her father, she decides to look for a job as a tutor/chaperone. After being turned down for several positions due to her age, Verity is hired by a noble house run by an admitted academic where she will tutor/chaperone three: a teen girl of marriageable age, a young girl not old enough to attend school and a school aged boy.
Before Verity is hired for this [lucky!] position, she meets some of the “rebel” mechanics as they test out a new steam-powered engine. Verity meets the rebels first by chance but every remaining encounter is by choice.
I liked the idea of Rebel Mechanics while disliking Verity’s stupidity and impulsiveness. Verity hangs out with her new Rebel friends on two different occasions – one of which is a party held at the rebel headquarters. These decisions of Verity’s really pissed me off. Verity needs this job. Her relationship with her father is NOT one in which she can depend on. Verity has no suitors to marry her – she has to work. Verity was lucky to get hired for her position since her (very young) age made most potential employers turn her away. It just made not a lick of sense that Verity would endanger her position by hanging out with rebels – even if they were her only (current) friends.
Don’t get me wrong, Verity acts like a typical young person. I just am not interested in reading about the typical young person making stupid mistakes. There were hints that some special snowflake activity would occur soon enough but the text isn’t compelling enough for me to push on. I probably would be willing to try it again at a later date – but as its a library book, decisions must be made.