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13 January 2021

Audiobook Review: Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

I can't remember when I bought my audiobook copy of Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina, but I know it was a fair few years ago.

For whatever reason, it's been languishing on my Audible shelf, un-listened-to. Which is surprising, as I have a great love of speculative fiction, and Steampunk in particular. It is the first book in The Magnificent Devices Series.

Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina cover The Magnificent Devices series

She wants to be an engineer, but her parents – and society – will never allow it.

Until riots break out in steampunk London and she seizes her chance…

It’s 1889, and Lady Claire Trevelyan is expected to do nothing more with her life than catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, her talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the laboratory, where her experiments have an embarrassing habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine despite the fact that everyone knows the world runs on steam, Claire finds herself out in the street with nothing to her name but her steam landau and her second best hat.

But the embarrassments of her old life might be the talents that save her now… If she can stay alive long enough to barter her skills for a street gang’s protection. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the London underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices… A double life Claire must keep secret if she is to achieve her dream and become the assistant to a world-renowned scientist …

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5 Word Review: Adventure, steampunk, family, friendship, society.

Content Warnings: Suicide.

First and foremost, this book is an excellent adventure. It's a proper Steampunk romp, lots of fun to experience, and with a well-fleshed out world. The story itself isn't long, but it is the first in a series and sets up the world magnificently.

Fiona Hardingham does an amazing job narrating the story - the voices and intonation she puts on is perfect.

I love how this world is still full of political intrigue and societal restraints. As much as technologies have advanced, the rights of women have not, and Claire rallies against it. I love her headstrong actions, her sense of adventure, her desire to learn more. She's inquisitive and bright and this is evidenced right from the start in a pretty explosive way. And as everything unfolds her whole world changes.

I quite enjoyed the familial dramas, although one was tragically heart-breaking. Claire's mother wants what she thinks is best for her, but it does mean that she and Claire butt heads quite a lot. With society as it is in the book, it's understandable and at times I was a little exasperated with Claire. Her mother does love her, really, and she's trying her best under terrible circumstances.

I was quite sad that Claire found herself so alone and a little lost. But it was where the adventure truly kicked off, where things got so dire that they had to change. It's where Claire properly came into herself her sharp mind and tenacity took centre stage.

Lady of Devices was such a fun a read, and I will absolutely continue with the Magnificent Devices series.

Girls should certainly be heard. It is their voices the world is missing.



  1. I've read this one! Years ago. I loved it. I didn't get the sequel and I have no idea why. You've reminded me how much I enjoyed it.

  2. This sounds intriguing! Great review!

    Lois |

  3. Oh this sounds like something right up my street!


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