100 books like Infernal Devices

By K.W. Jeter,

Here are 100 books that Infernal Devices fans have personally recommended if you like Infernal Devices. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Soulless

Ju Honisch Author Of Obsidian Secrets

From my list on combining fantasy with “the past”.

Why am I passionate about this?

History and legend: The actual past and all the myths and stories that ride along with it. I have an M.A. in history and have always been interested in old folklore and myth. So I write fantasy novels set in the 19th century. The flair is steampunk-ish, the setting strictly historical – except for the fact that magic and mythical creatures exist. Magic is taught in Arcane Lodges, mythical beings can be pretty much anything: vampire, body-snatcher, werewolf, dryad, nymph, etc. My first novel Obsidian Secrets (Das Obsidianherz) won the Deutscher Phantastik Preis. Wings of Stone of the same series won the SERAPH as the "Best Fantasy Novel" at Leipzig Book Fair.

Ju's book list on combining fantasy with “the past”

Ju Honisch Why did Ju love this book?

The heroine is soulless – the book certainly is not.

An admirably determined and courageous young lady holds her own in a steampunk version of 19th century London where werewolves and vampires play an important part in society – and everyone knows they exist.

They simply belong to the Victorian upper class and try to fit their species typical lifestyles into a world somewhere between Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Werewolves and vampires: what’s not to like?

By Gail Carriger,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Soulless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high…

Book cover of A Master of Djinn

Caroline Stevermer Author Of The Glass Magician

From my list on historical fantasy for armchair travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write fantasy novels, including A College of Magics, River Rats, and When the King Comes Home. With Patricia C. Wrede, I wrote half of the Kate and Cecy series: Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician.

Caroline's book list on historical fantasy for armchair travel

Caroline Stevermer Why did Caroline love this book?

Agent of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, Fatma el-Sha'arawi is the spectacularly well-dressed protagonist tasked with saving the world (again) in an alternate 1912 Cairo. This award-winning novel awed me with its detail and invention. What I loved most was the way the world building relegated the British Empire to relative unimportance. Come to think of it, I loved the Ministry library almost as much.

By P. Djèlí Clark,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Master of Djinn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Included in NPR’s Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books Of The Past Decade (2011-2021)
A Nebula Award Winner
A Ignyte Award Winner
A Compton Crook Award for Best New Novel Winner
A Locus First Novel Award Winner
A RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner
A Hugo Award Finalist
A World Fantasy Award Finalist
A NEIBA Book Award Finalist
A Mythopoeic Award Finalist
A Dragon Award Finalist
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Amazon
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Kobo

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark goes full-length for the first time in his dazzling debut…

Book cover of Boneshaker

Lilian Horn Author Of Perils of Sea and Sky

From my list on fantasy worldbuilding you don’t want to get lost in.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a steady book diet of child detectives, fairy tales involving monsters in the woods, and historical fiction about the black plague. The same themes go through the books I love to read and write, transporting me with world-building set in realms or historical settings with technology so strange it could be fantasy. Characters are shaped by the world around them and the more perilous the world, the more it challenges the characters. If there are monsters, I’m in. 

Lilian's book list on fantasy worldbuilding you don’t want to get lost in

Lilian Horn Why did Lilian love this book?

Boneshaker is set in an alternate Seattle where a rampant machine unearthed toxic gas that turns people into zombies, and the only way to contain this disaster was to wall off the city. What I love about Boneshaker is how people remain defiantly close to the city and move on with their lives despite the toxic rain, the zombies clawing on the walls, and, even more so, the people who take it further and travel through the ruins of the once great city in an airship, or, if they’re daring, on foot. 

Better pack your guns and your wits when exploring this cityscape!

By Cherie Priest,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Boneshaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the start of the Civil War, a Russian mining company commissions a great machine to pave the way from Seattle to Alaska and speed up the gold rush that is beating a path to the frozen north. Inventor Leviticus Blue creates the machine, but on its first test run it malfunctions, decimating Seattle's banking district and uncovering a vein of Blight Gas that turns everyone who breathes it into the living dead. Sixteen years later Briar, Blue's widow, lives in the poor neighborhood outside the wall that's been built around the uninhabitable city. Life is tough with a ruined…

Book cover of The Affinity Bridge

Jeff Young Author Of Spirit Seeker: The Kassandra Leyden Adventures

From my list on paranormal steampunk in the gaslit world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I find joy in niches and steampunk is not cut from the ordinary cloth. I was originally challenged to produce a story that incorporated magic into steampunk. The resulting character, Kassandra Leyden who can speak to the dead, brought to life an alternate history where a deadly plague made the British Empire emigrate to the Americas and begin anew. The style and fashion of steampunk in modifying the ordinary appeals to the maker in me. I am an avid renfaire attendee and create and sell garb, which now includes steampunk elements. I hope you enjoy these choices and discover what steampunk has to offer as a genre. 

Jeff's book list on paranormal steampunk in the gaslit world

Jeff Young Why did Jeff love this book?

The first in the Newbury and Hobbs series finds our intrepid pair of investigators trying to tie together an airship crash, a mysterious plague among the less fortunate of London, a spate of murders that leaves Scotland Yard clueless and the reappearing ghost of a police officer. A London on the verge of a technological leap forward provides a backdrop for a Holmesian investigation. There’s plenty more ahead in the series for those who enjoy this one. 

By George Mann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Affinity Bridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Get ready to follow dazzling young writer George Mann to a London unlike any you've ever seen and into an adventure you will never forget, in The Affinity Bridge.

Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen, and journalists.

But beneath this shiny…

Book cover of The Hunchback Assignments

S.B. Norton Author Of Dave Bi-Plane Fights the Red Winged Death Command

From my list on wildly worldly invention in fantasy and steampunk.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been drawn toward tales and stories of the bizarre since childhood. As a reader, I look for works that will surprise me. The real world in general, I find very unsurprising (lord yes, I do!). When I read, when I enter the fictional world (my favorite!) I want to be inspired to read on. I have put down many a book through boredom. I am not a plough. If I am uninterested, I stop. These books have inspired me in my own craft. Currently writing my sixth novel of the unpredictable, I feel I have experienced enough to forward on some irregular reads of the pure and the awesome.  

S.B.'s book list on wildly worldly invention in fantasy and steampunk

S.B. Norton Why did S.B. love this book?

This was my very first read in the Steampunk genre. 

What a great book and series this is. 

As a baby, Modo is purchased from a travelling gypsy by a well-to-do aristocrat, the mysterious Mr. Socrates. Modo is hideously ugly. Mr. Socrates raises and educates Modo in proper English and manners and fight craft. He lives his life tucked away in a manor, hiding his face from society. 

One day, on a rare carriage ride through London, a grown Modo is abandoned in the streets by Mr. Socrates and has to fend for himself. He becomes a detective, yet he can never show his real face to anyone – he meets the beautiful Octavia Milkweed – she finds him curious and befriends him. The evil Clockwork Guild is causing chaos throughout London and Modo must get to the bottom of it. Then find a way to stop it. The adventure…

By Arthur Slade,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hunchback Assignments as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A gripping new series combines Steampunk, spying, and a fantastic Victorian London.

The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a…

Book cover of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Louise Blackwick Author Of 5 Stars

From my list on inspired neon science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

After experimenting with fictional digitized worlds for the greater part of a decade, my writing journey has led me to discover a new, never-before-tried flavour of science fiction. My name is Louise Blackwick and I am the creator of Neon Science-Fiction – a subgenre of sci-fi that combines stylistic, thematic, and aesthetic elements of Post-Cyberpunk, Cyber noir, and Nanopunk. The reading list I compiled includes five science fiction stories that both influenced and facilitated the birth of this fresh and hopefully thought-provoking new genre. I hope Neon Sci-Fi can be a stimulating new addition for science fiction readers and authors alike.

Louise's book list on inspired neon science fiction

Louise Blackwick Why did Louise love this book?

As one of the founding fathers of Nanopunk, Neal Stephenson’s writings form a straightforward bridge between Postcyberpunk and Neon Science-Fiction. His novel is a collection of exotic technologies like matter compilers, smart paper, immunity-enhancing particles, and foldable transportable mech-horses. Eventually, I found myself inspired to create exotic tech of my own (e.g. foods, arts, weapons, and technologies fully based on “Dark”, an unconstructed area of “empty space” featured somewhat heavily in my neon sci-fi novel). Stephenson’s novel also depicts an extremely globalized future, founded on molecular nanotech, rapidly assembled usable goods, and socio-cultural division. The title’s allusion to a “Diamond Age” fully based on nanotechnology (diamonds can be assembled from individual carbon atoms) is a complex commentary on economics and how an object loses its value through mass production.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Diamond Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The future is small. The future is nano . . .

And who could be smaller or more insignificant than poor Little Nell - an orphan girl alone and adrift in a world of Confucian Law, Neo-Victorian values and warring nanotechnology?

Well, not quite alone. Because Nell has a friend, of sorts. A guide, a teacher, an armed and unarmed combat instructor, a book and a computer: the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is all these and much much more. It is illicit, magical, dangerous.

And it isn't Nell's. It was stolen. And now…

Book cover of The Golden Owl

Loralee Evans Author Of Felicity and the Featherless Two-Foot

From my list on lovable animal characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of my earliest memories are of sitting with my mom or dad while they read me stories like The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter or Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. These memories, along with many great teachers who got me excited about stories, are what helped me develop a love of reading and writing. I love stories with animal characters in them, whether they’re the main characters, or simply there in a supporting role.

Loralee's book list on lovable animal characters

Loralee Evans Why did Loralee love this book?

Readers who like cat protagonists, steampunk, or both, will love Calico Cogg, the main protagonist of this story. I liked the spunky little cat from the moment I met her, and did not want to put this story down. Clever Calico Cogg began life as an ordinary cat but after she was saved from the streets of Ticswyk, a city in an exciting steampunk world, by Lionel Cogg, a kindly inventor, he enhances her with implants that make her stronger and more agile than a regular cat. I found her talents as impressive as her audience did at the beginning of the book. What can Calico Cogg not do, right?  But then, when her beloved human Lionel is kidnapped, Calico's skills are put to the ultimate test! Even with her enhanced skills, it’s a race against time if she’s going to rescue her human! I was on the edge of…

By Lana Axe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Golden Owl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Calico Cogg is a cat like no other. Rescued from the streets of Ticswyk by esteemed inventor Lionel Cogg, she has been fitted with implants to enhance her natural feline abilities. When Lionel is kidnapped, Cali must put her skills to the test to free him. Dark schemes are in the works—a plague of tiny clockwork spiders are wreaking havoc on the city’s inhabitants. Only Cali, with help from her trusted mouse friend Emmit, can get to the bottom of it all. With a criminal mastermind planning a major heist, Cali must race against time to unravel his plot before…

Book cover of The Emperor's Edge

L. Darby Gibbs Author Of Dragon-Eyed Rogue

From my list on creating a sense of family with strangers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the product of a man who married more times than I like to admit to strangers and even family. We moved all the time. Those two elements in my life led me to run out the door immediately upon release from sorting my belongings from their thoroughly packed boxes. I made friends at once with everyone I came across. Who knew how long we’d live there? Over the years, I acquired deep friendships from around the U.S. and often daydreamed of them all being in the same place at once and loving the solidarity. It never happened, but it's a theme that runs through me. It’s what I like to write about.

L.'s book list on creating a sense of family with strangers

L. Darby Gibbs Why did L. love this book?

This book captured me from the first moment with Amaranthe determined to be the best enforcer despite being looked down upon because she was a woman doing a man’s job and not doing what her family expected of her.

When she finds herself the target of an assassin which she must target, she gathers a collection of misfits who (spoiler sort of) become the family she needs to succeed and survive along with bumble, trip, fail, and regroup with.

I loved cheering her on and wincing at her (sometimes hilarious) struggles.

By Lindsay Buroker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Emperor's Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin, is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down.…

Book cover of Dr. Todson's Home for Incorrigible Women

A. L. Brooks Author Of Dare to Love

From my list on coming out later in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I knew in my early teens that I wasn’t straight, but back then, the thought of coming out was too scary. I waited until I was twenty-three to do so, and it was still scary even being ten years older! So I can relate to stories of women of all ages discovering their less-than-straight sexuality. It’s rarely easy, no matter how many years you’ve lived already. It still requires good support from the people who love you, and one thing in common in all of the books I’ve recommended is that family, or often found family, plays a crucial role in the newly-out woman feeling comfortable being themselves.

A. L.'s book list on coming out later in life

A. L. Brooks Why did A. L. love this book?

This one had me laughing out loud just as much as swooning over the lovely story of Caroline and her transformation once her husband dumps her in the home where ‘difficult’ women are put when they cause too much trouble for those husbands. There are elements of steampunk, social commentary, twisted humor, and a cast of secondary characters that are as varied as they are interesting. The setting, while bleak to begin with, grows on you as you read, and once all the twists and turns finally click into place, it’s a romp of a ride to the end.

By Riley LaShea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dr. Todson's Home for Incorrigible Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gentle Victorian tale of women’s passions and power, with a sprinkle of romance, a trifle of steampunk, and heaps and heaps of quiet revolution.

Caroline Ajax is an inconvenient woman. Unwell. Hot-tempered. Harboring a tragic secret she can’t share with another living soul. Dropped at an institution in the Surrey Hills by her husband, Thomas, her only objective is to survive, to endure, to make it back to what little there is of her life as soon as she possibly can. But it doesn’t take her long to discover there is something unusual about this house and its eclectic…

Book cover of The Binding Tempest

Asiel R. Lavie Author Of The Crossing Gate

From my list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by fantasy and sci-fi books since childhood – ever since I read Harry Potter and my parents took me to Disneyland Park. My parents had a giant library, and they used to encourage me to buy books and read them. I enjoy reading books that mix genres with unexpected twists and turns, and I am always on the hunt for a good story to enjoy and review.

Asiel's book list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction

Asiel R. Lavie Why did Asiel love this book?

I was hooked from page one and finished reading the book in just a few days. Although this is a complicated story, the description was vivid and clear. The plot was fast-paced and full of actions that will keep you on the edge of your seat most of the time.

By Steven Rudy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Binding Tempest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The expert combination of immersive storytelling, strong characters, and well-woven mixture of speculative and steampunk elements makes for an unforgettable experience.”
– The Prairies Book Review

Heroes only get better with age.

Forty years after The Great War that overthrew an Empire, a former war hero, Ellaria Moonstone, has discovered a new threat to the World she helped save.

When the Peace King of the Free Cities goes missing, Ellaria uncovers a plot to overthrow the tenuous republic. Fearing that a powerful being called a Sagean Luminary has returned to claim the throne, Ellaria sends for help from old allies…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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