Book Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson


Book Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna SwendsonRebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Published by Macmillan on July 14th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Steampunk, Young Adult
Source: ARC from Publisher

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It's 1888, and seventeen-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.


I don’t want to make this book all about romance…..BUT LORD FRICKIN ADORABLE HENRY!!


I figured if I don’t go ahead and get my squealing about him out of the way I won’t be able to focus on this review about the other happenings of this book. SO…..



There I’m good now.



I ship this ship.




Seriously though, this book has it all. Fearless female lead (Verity). Ridiculously adorable man (Lord Henry). Steampunk ( all the awesome machines). Alternate history. Magic (which determines the hierarchy of the citizens). Revolutionaries. Rebel Spies. Secret Reporters. Danger.

You name it, this book has the goodness, which is exactly what made me want to read this title. Oh and the cover, which screams all of those things. (Also I got my hardcover in yesterday and it is indeed GLORIOUS!)

I won’t lie though, even with all the things the premise and cover have going for it, I was a little hesitant about Rebel Mechanics initially. It sounded to good to be true and I’ve been lured in by steampunk before only to be swiftly let down, several times. This one though, definitely held me up all the way through. It was light but also full of mystery and intrigue. The mix was really well done.


The setting of the alternate history was really vivid. It was easy for me to be able to imagine the world Verity lived in and the things she participated in. I very easily could see this as a movie done in black and white, and the rebels meeting up and doing all the stealthy things with their machines to fight the system. This book really did a good job of pulling me in COMPLETELY.

I actually really loved all the characters. Verity and Lord Henry are definitely my favorite. She is quite fearless and does what she thinks needs to be done especially when people she cares about are involved. Lord Henry is quite dorky but also intriguing and mysterious. I love Verity’s role as the governess for Lord Henry to his nephew and nieces. I’m really hoping to see even more interaction with them in the next installment. I’m really intrigued by the oldest, Flora, I see so much potential character growth for her and I hope that is something that happens in the next books. I’m also really intrigued by the kid’s Aunt Eleanor. I think she has quite a few secrets and I would love to see if I’m right on some of them. As for the rebels that Verity meets, I like some of them, Lizzie, Colin, Nate, but Alec rubbed me the wrong way from the get go. I don’t think he’s a bad guy per say, he just really made me twitch from the beginning. Some of the characters had quite a few secret identities along the way and I think their reveals were really well done.

I really can’t say that there was anything that I didn’t like about this book. Honestly when I was done I just kind of stared at it with a grin and wanted to just hug it for days. Then yell at it to give me kissing because gosh darnit it’s needed! As much as I love the potential shipping I can do with this book, the romance aspect seriously is not that big of a thing in the book. I just have hopes and dreams. LOL

If you could buy one book today, I definitely suggest this one! So go. Buy it.

If you dont, well…..



About Shanna Swendson

Once upon a time ...

A little girl learned to amuse herself by making up stories in her head. She turned everyday activities into exciting adventures, and she made up new adventures for characters from her favorite movies, TV shows and books. Then one day she realized that if she wrote down those stories, she'd have a book! But that was crazy, she thought. Real people don't become novelists. That was like deciding you were going to be a movie star. You couldn't just go and do it.

But, it turns out, you can, and she did. She realized her dream of becoming a novelist and seeing her stories in bookstores.

And then she started to wig herself out by writing about herself in the third-person.


Have you read Rebel Mechanics? Are you planning to? Do you know of any other Steampunk books that I must try?


  1. SJ Bouquet says:

    this sounds like everything i could ever want out of a book! AND THE GUY’S NAMED HENRY!? …I don’t know why but I really love love interests named Henry. Its just such a good name ugh marking this as READ THIS STAT

  2. Carolyn says:

    Seriously love her Enchanted Inc. series, so her name on the book would have already sold me (along with that blurb), but I love this review, so I must get this one sooner rather than later. I’ve really been wanting a great steampunk read.

  3. Emma @ Miss Print says:

    Yes! I loved this book so much. It’s definitely a favorite of 2015 if not my all-time favorite (too early to tell). I had an absolute blast reading this book, reviewing it and interviewing the author. I have seriously been recommending it to EVERYONE. *flails*

  4. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives says:

    I had the same struggle! The book is so much MORE than a romance and a love interest, but HENRY <3 <3 <3

    At first I was taken in by Alec and the rest, but by the halfway point I was giving them the side eye so hard. I really want to see where they end up in later books though!

    • Crystal says:

      Ugh I really just could not stand Alec from the get go. I even asked a friend if that was the guy she loved because if so we were definitely not agreeing LOL he just bugged me for sole reason.

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