by Kate Maddison
Series: Charlotte Sycamore #2
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Sycamore lives in Buckingham Palace and is hiding her secret identity. Surrounded by scientific inventions and mechanical creatures of Victorian London, Charlotte trusts only her closest friends with the truth. Should her mysterious identity be revealed to the world, she would be executed by the Queen's court. Charlotte's father, private physician to Queen Victoria, is unaware that his seemingly timid daughter is the treasonous thief that he and Scotland Yard seek to capture. They believe they are looking for a "man" who is stealing medical supplies from Her Majesty to treat the poor of London. It's the same thief they accuse when two of the Queen's most valuable horses are stolen. A reward is placed on Charlotte's head.
Torn between her dutiful love for her father and the blossoming, confusing feelings she has for her daring ally, Peter, Charlotte sneaks out of Buckingham Palace with the help of her trusted friends. She struggles with the dangers of first love and how she fits into this complicated world. It’s up to Charlotte, Peter, Benjamin, Adam, Polly, and Jillian to sword fight through the gaslit streets of London and travel halfway around the world in an experimental device to locate the horses, bring the true criminal to justice, and to never reveal Charlotte's true identity.
I love a good steampunk novel wrapped in mystery and was delighted to read The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore and the Secret Traps by Kate Maddison. The author suggested and it is true, this will work as a standalone. For me, however, I think my connection to the characters would have been stronger had I first read, The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore. Featuring a young cast of characters who meddle in mysteries and dabble in steampunk with a sweet understated romance The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore and the Secret Traps was an engaging tale.
Five Caffeinated reasons to read The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore and the Secret Traps
- If you love a good mystery set in Victorian London wrapped in steampunk you will enjoy this tale. Charlotte lives at Buckingham Palace with the Queen of London. Her father is Queen Victoria’s private physician.
- The plot is engaging. Unbeknownst to the Queen and her father, Charlotte is the thief they are looking to hang. Medical supplies are missing, but Charlotte had a good reason for taking them. Call her “Robin Hood” for she uses them to help the poor. Poor Charlotte longs to be a Doctor, a feminist before her time; she is a clever girl and creates some of the coolest gadgets. When someone steals the Queen’s prized horses Scotland Yard and Charlotte’s father assume it is in same daring thief. Together with her maid and friends, Charlotte sets out to find the culprit.
- There is a forbidden romance, which began, in the first novel. It is sweet and clean but complicated by an arranged engagement. This is a clean romance and will work for advanced Middle-Grade readers. I liken it to a Nancy Drew novel with the added bonus of geeky gadgets. Peter is a wonderful, and sweet. He tries to do the right thing, and accepts his place but cannot help stealing a few kisses.
- The steampunk elements are unique from message sending devices, a robot, mechanical owls and a time-traveling device. I loved how clever and resourceful these little detectives were, and how they used these gadgets to assist in solving the case.
- Twists and turns as Charlotte and her friends work to solve the case, and escape danger will keep the reader entertained. The case wrapped up nicely, while Charlotte and Peter’s fate remains unclear. It will be interesting to see what case they stumble upon next.
The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore and the Secret Traps was a fun, well-paced tale with just the right amount of mystery and romance to please young readers.
I read a steampunk MG/YA earlier this year and enjoyed it and have been wanting to read more. This sounds like a fun read though I think I might start with the first book in the series. Thanks for sharing!
I think you will enjoy these than Katherine 🙂
Oh I didn’t realize this was a steampunk novel based on the summary. I’m actually looking to read more steampunks so I think I got lucky with your review (:
I love Charlotte’s resolve to help the poor. She’s a character I can get behind especially being a feminist before her time.
i hope you enjoy them. It is the perfect series to try a little steampunk
A Belle's Tales
I think Mckenzie and I could enjoy this together! We’ll start with the first one in the series, but this one sounds sweet and fun. Thank you for putting this series on our radar!
Yes these are perfect for MacKenzie; )
OMG it has been so long since I read a steampunk! I think this sounds awesome, and I love that it has a good mystery. I might read the first book so I can get a better sense of the characters. Lovely review!
*waves* this is fun Lauren 🙂
This sound good Kimba. I have to agree with you too, I don’t think you can’t ever get the same experience reading a book in a series without having history with the character, and I think that’s why is so hard to blow it out the park with the first book in series.
Thanks Kimba 🙂
Yeah, unless each book is about a new couple/character
I do love a good mystery, and the setting pulled me in. I got a copy of this on net galley because they said it could be read as a standalone, but I have still been hesitant to read it for the same reason you said. I feel like I would have a better connection with the characters if I read the first book, well, first.
Great review Kimba 🙂
I just think it would work better in order 🙂
Braine Talk Supe
Sounds coolio! You know I love my Steampunk and I’d like to get acquainted with them owls!!
It was and this is perfect for younger teens looking to try steampunk
Sounds like a charming YA series! Good review, Kimba!
It is Lark and perfect for a young teen
I’ve been hit and miss with steam punk, but this one definitely has the makings of a hit! I just love that she’s the thief in a robin hood kind of way. I think I’ll go back to book 1 first though, since I really like to fully understand my characters. Thanks Kimba!
I would try them, keep in mind these lean towards MG.
The cover is absolutely wonderful. Great review as well 🙂
Thanks Paij and I agree about the cover 🙂
I need to read some steampunk soon! I like the sound of this series and Charlotte sounds like a great character. I love a good mystery. 🙂
This was fun and good for all ages
Oh, steampunk, I <3 ! Though YA isn't so much my thing, I'd venture into the wild lands for a good steampunk mystery read, and this baby sounds interesting for sure 😀
LOL..this leans towards the MG section in the library, but has cool gadgets and a Nancy Drew heroine
This sounds like it could be a very fun series, I don’t read a lot of steampunk but I do enjoy it now and then. 🙂
It is fun to mix in different genres
A mystery is a perfect read on a rainy night with lots of hot chocolate. Thanks for the post!
I agree and it can be shared with a young reader as well.
Brandi Breathes Books
The engaging plot and romance sounds good to me
Thanks Brandi, this was good
Scientific inventions and mechanical creatures? That sounds like my type of book! I’ll definitely be checking this one out 🙂
Thanks Christy, this was fun 🙂
Sounds fun, and you don’t see too much steampunk for younger readers. I will add this to Risa’s pinterest board for when she is older 🙂
Perfect it is clean and perfect for 5th grade on up
I don’t read steampunk that much, but sounds really good!
Great review, Kimberly!
This is high on mystery with gadgets it may be the place to dabble in it 🙂
YES! This sounds exactly up my alley! I’m going to run over and add the first to my WL or buy it immediately. I LOVE the cover of this second book though, gorgeous!
It is gorgeous, and I know you like MG as well so I think you will enjoy this immensely
I’ve always been intrigued with Steampunk but have yet to try any. I like the sound of the mystery, forbidden romance, and the twists and turns. I also smiled when you compared it to Nancy Drew! 😉 Maybe I’ll pick up this series and share it with my daughters.
perfect for your daughters Brandee
Cool a Steampunk Nancy Drew story? Say no more. I love that stuff too.
I hadn’t heard of this one so I’m glad for the intro.
Exactly…Nancy with gadgets and gizmos!
Steampunk, mystery and forbidden romance? How have I never heard of this series, Kim? Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Nick, this is cute and reminds me of a young Nancy Drew with gadgets 🙂
Thanks Kim both mystery and Steampunk are big hits with me. Thanks for putting this on my radar!!
Thanks Debbie..happy Tuesday 🙂
Love the cover and the blurb, but it’s not my style of read. However my 6th grade granddaughter reads well above her level, teen reads without explicit sensual scenes, so I think this will be great for her–thanks for pointing it out.
This is perfect for your granddaughter. It is clean and had it been classified as middle grade I would have rated it higher.
How have I not heard of this series before Kim? Steampunk, Victorian London and a forbidden romance? YES PLEASE! Definitely going to go back and check out book one now:)
I never would have guessed this was steampunk from the cover (which I like by the way!). So glad to hear it delivered.
This was fun Ali, and perfect for young teens on your shopping list 🙂
Sheila (Book Journey)
Love the cover and like Felicia said – I never would have thought it was steampunk!
No I agree and the woman doesn’t depict the young heroine.
Felicia the Geeky Blogger
From that cover I would have never guessed that was Steampunk. I think this series might be the perfect gift for my friend’s 6th grader. She loves forbidden romance (I think because she is forbidden from having one LOL)
Completely Felicia is is marked young adult, but I honestly felt it was middle grade. Very clean with young heroine.
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
Hmm I’m not entirely sure about a forbidden romance because they are so hard to get right but I do love trying more steampunk reads so I’ll bite!
Lovely review, Kimba <33
This had more to do with social standings, and was very mild
A steampunk with a good mix of mystery and romance sounds good to me. Thanks for reviewing, Kimberly, I’ll keep this one in mind 🙂
Thanks Silvia, this was cute 🙂
I’m going to have to look into the “steampunk” genre. I can’t say I’ve heard of it yet! Thank you for sharing this review (:
The gadgets were clever 🙂 I enjoy steampunk as it has elements of mystery and suspense
Now when I saw the cover of book 1 I remembered it 🙂
It was fun a tad on the young side but enjoyable
Oh I love a good mystery and even more if it’s steampunk! I was disappointed by the last I’ve read but maybe I should try this one. thanks for the review
This was fun Melliane:)