Brilliant Devices (Magnificent Devices #4)

Brilliant Devices (Magnificent Devices #4) - Shelley Adina Lady Claire is back and rumours of her demise are greatly exaggerated; though he reappearance causes quite a shock for Lord and Lady Dunsmuirs, especially since this is the second time Claire has been presumed dead. Reunited with her flock, Claire can return to her original plan, visiting Edmonton with the Dunsmuirs, seeing their holdings and making plans for the future – especially since she no longer has the threat of forced marriage being held over her.Of course, things can’t be that easy. Alice is joining them, severely out of place among the nobility and desperately looking for her father who may be involved in nefarious schemes. And when they arrive at the Dunsmuirs’ most remote mine they find a whole crew of people ready to join them, from Britain, from the colonies and even the famous Baron Zeplin himself. Of course, not all of these people can be gathered without nefarious schemes afoot – and soon sabotage follows kidnapping follows lots of adventure and excitement as Claire and her flock must again try to avert disaster – this time on an international scale.I have a big grin on my face which is my Magnificent Devices grin – it’s impossible not to smile your way through this book. It’s such swashbucklingly, good fun. The tone has that wonderful lightness of humour and joy that keeps up in even the direst of situations. At the same time it wonderfully maintains the sense of time and place – the Victorian feel, the language, the class, the clothing, the attitudes are all extremely vivid, carefully maintained and, at times, gloriously lampooned.The story didn’t let up for a moment and was full of twists and new developments. For a long time I had no idea what the focus was going to be or what the main plot line was – partly because all the characters have their own lives and their own agendas – but it didn’t matter because these characters and their interactions are so much fun and so truly excellent that it was worthy reading even without the main plot of the book being present.And when it did develop it was wonderful – intricate with new revelations and surprises, I didn’t predict it, didn’t know where we were going and was surprised every step. The action kept flowing and the story kept up – it was an extremely quick and fun read.I have to say I feel minorly cheated by the ending. Not because of a cliffhanger or anything like that – no the story was brought to a close and in a wonderfully concise and clear manner, the bad guys vanquished, the good guys triumphant – but it was summed up in a latter. The letter covered everything and we knew how it was going to end before that letter because Claire & Co had, through daring and intelligence and each of their useful skills, come up with a plan that was rapidly reaching its forgone conclusion. We didn’t need to see the bad guys humbled and defeated to know they were. We didn’t need to see the glorious victory that had become inevitable. We didn’t need to see Claire and the Dunsmirs and Zeplin proud and triumphant. But I wanted to – after a book of wrangling and struggling and ducking and weaving, I wanted the pay off of a glorious victories, the enemies shamed and cast down, smugness all round. This letter did not have my smugness pay off nor nearly enough villains having their noses pushed into the mud. I am disappointed.Read More