Samantha (Sam) is a Natural, one who can read the hearts of mechanical devices and use the aether to change them to become closer to their ideal. Unfortunately, most people look at Naturals with distaste even to the point of violence and Sam's sister, Lily, is too sick to be able to keep her hidden even with her husband's help. They have heard of a settlement on the main continent of other Naturals where Sam would be safe and able to be true to herself but when the morning for her departure arrives, she ends up heading to the ship on her own and her nature takes over which causes her motorized carriage to careen out of control and her to crawl out of the wreckage scared and alone with no idea how to find the right ship or her brother-in-law's man for help. Instead, she sneaks aboard a ship with no idea where it's going.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel is from a rich family but his interest in life outside has him serving aboard a ship as a cabin boy although he wants desperately to get into the engine room. Unfortunately for him, the engineer is not disposed kindly to him and when Sam steals his food, Nat ends up taking the heat for it. Now Nat is determined to clear his name while Sam must try to stay hidden from Nat and ignore the siren call of the ship's engine.
I understand that this was written for YA and I wanted to like it more than I did. Unfortunately I found the writing to be repetitive (a huge peeve of mine) while the characters were basically one dimensional which left me not really caring much about their plights and the pacing was slow. I thought the world had promise but ultimately there just wasn't enough to make me want to continue in the series.
Page count: 195p/12,640p ytd/262,717p lifetime