I was tempted to be lazy about everything today, but if I’m just laying around sick (except when my children need me), then I might as well review a book and get it out of my house, right? Anyway. My friend Andrea picked Shanna Swendson’s Rebel Mechanics: All is Fair in Love and Revolution for book club a few months ago, and I finally grabbed it as I hopped onto the treadmill. I figured I’d do an in-depth skim (so to speak), since it’s less my thing, but–surprise surprise!–I ended up very much enjoying it.
The premise is intriguing; what if the British upper classes had magic, and what if that magic had squashed the colonies’ rebellion in 1776? And what IF, in 1888, a new rebellion surfaces, based upon the use of new inventions (like the steam engine!) that will ease the colonists’ dependence on magic? Enter Verity Newton, newly hired governess for a somewhat atypical magister (magical upper class) family who happens to meet some of the rebel mechanics on the way to her (successful) job interview. Drawn by both their cause and the interesting political leanings of her employer, Verity must work out her own path in the midst of the turmoil. (Just so you know, we’re blaming any and all cliches in this post on the cough syrup with codeine.)
I have to say, the book had me worried for awhile; I was afraid it was heading too far down the rabbit hole of immediate connection young adult romance. The plot went a bit differently than I feared, however, and I ended up being quite satisfied with the ending. Bottom line? If this sounds like your thing, read it. If it doesn’t but you have a passion for history, give it a try as well. You may well be as pleasantly surprised as I was!