A Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

Lady of Devices

I finally got to read one of Shelley Adina’s steampunk adventure novels!  I am not reviewing this book for any particular group.  I am reviewing it simply because I read it, and I like to write reviews for books I read.  This isn’t even the newest book in the series.  There are actually seven more after this one.

Lady of Devices is the first book in Shelley Adina’s “Magnificent Devices” steampunk adventure series.  It is the first steampunk novel I have ever read, and I must say that in the beginning I wasn’t sure I was going to like this genre, but as I read and began to care more and more about the main character, Lady Claire, I couldn’t put it down.  I finished the book in four evenings.  (I only have time to read for two or three hours an evening, and not every single evening either.)

In Lady of Devices, Lady Claire comes from a well-to-do family, but Lady Claire is more interested in science, chemistry to be exact, and inventions than she is in having her “coming out” party to find a husband.  Well, that gets put on the back burner anyway, when tragedy strikes her family, and her mother and little brother move to their other house some distance away.  Lady Claire is to follow after packing up the current house and wrapping up some loose ends.  However, other things happen to keep Lady Claire in London longer.

Lady Claire ends up in one adventure after another, and becomes of some interest to two young men, but one behaves quite oddly toward her.  I do really like the other young man and believe he is the type of young man that Lady Claire would find appealing, which she might if she weren’t distracted by other circumstances.

Shelley Adina did a wonderful job creating Lady Claire and the other characters in the book.  It is easy to like some of the characters and dislike a few of the others.  I also found myself reminiscing about Dickens’ Oliver Twist during certain scenes.

I liked this book very much and was a bit taken aback when Ms. Adina left me hanging at the end.  Smart marketing, leaving the reader wanting more when you’re writing a series.  🙂     Therefore, I cannot wait to get Her Devices and continue to follow Lady Claire on her further adventures.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure, and to anyone who likes steampunk.  Also, anyone who likes a quick, easy read, and anyone with a love for Dickens will find reminiscences here, but this story definitely has much more action.

What I Need to Work On

Saturday, I attended my Writers’ Group.  We had another author as a guest speaker.  She writes Amish fiction as well as something called “Steam Punk” fiction.  I had never heard of Steam Punk fiction before but she even came dressed in Steam Punk apparel because upon leaving our Writers’ Group, she had a book signing for her Steam Punk fiction at a nearby historical railroad.

Her Amish fiction books are written under the name of Adina Senft and her Steam Punk books are written under the name of Shelley Adina.  She talked about several of her books and I was quite intrigued by the ones labeled as “Steam Punk” fiction.  I was disappointed that she didn’t have any books to sign and sell to our group due to time constraints, and probably because she needed what she brought for the book signing event.  Therefore, I will have to look for her books online.

She spoke to us about “World Building Through Your Character’s Eyes” (setting).  It was a wonderful workshop, though she went through it quite quickly because she normally takes three hours to teach it, and, for us, she had to squeeze it into one hour and forty minutes.  She had notes on an overhead, so I scribbled furiously in my notebook to be sure to catch the most important points, and, thankfully, she handed out a sheet with some of the more important points on it.  I have come to truly enjoy and value attending this writer’s group.  

I am learning so much, which brings me to the reason for the title of this post.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared two scenes of a story I am working on with a critique group, and they were very kind.  One lady blessed me by telling me all of the things she felt were very strong in my writing.  Those who told me my weakness, said, “point of view”.  I have been told this once before but this time it baffled me because I thought I was doing well with the point of view in this story.  In the past, with the story that I had been told had a confusing point of view, the person explaining it pointed it out to me and it was perfectly clear what I had done wrong.  I have been very careful not to do that with this story, and the thing they pointed out as the point of view issue seems strange to me because I am only sharing my main character’s thoughts and feelings.  The example they pointed to had a sentence or two of my main character’s thoughts before my secondary main character told her one of the stories of his life, and all she did was listen.

Do any of you have problems with point of view and how do you resolve it?  I will be researching point of view now to see if I can understand it better.  If you have any tips or advice on point of view, please leave a comment.  I would greatly appreciate it.