9 Remarkable Young Adult Steampunk Books
The unique aesthetic and fascinating concepts of steampunk have captured the imaginations of authors and readers of all ages. Blending science fiction and fantasy with technology from the 19th century, the exciting works listed here are full of adventure, ingenuity, and heroism. Whether you're a teenager or an older fan of YA fiction, you'll be sure to find something here that deserves a place on your shelf. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
YA Steampunk Books: Our 9 Picks
Fun Activities for Steampunk Enthusiasts
- Play a steampunk video game with friends
- Create a cosplay for a local convention or meet-up
- Decorate your home with Edison bulbs
- Embrace your inner engineer with mechanical puzzles
- Host a steampunk movie night
- Entertain the children in your life with interlocking gear sets
- Podcast about your favorite show, movie, or book
8 Great Films for Steampunk Fans
- Mortal Engines (2018)
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
- Hugo (2011)
- Steamboy (2004)
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
- Sherlock Holmes (2009)
- Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
- The Golden Compass (2007)
What Is Steampunk?
Often set in the 19th century, steampunk stories show us what life would be like if advances in technology had continued to focus on steam-powered machines. These novels typically feature fast-paced action as the protagonists work to take down corrupt regimes or mad scientists hell-bent on expanding their influence through sinister means. Here, in no particular order, are nine remarkable young adult steampunk books.
First up, at #1, we have "The Unnaturalists" by Tiffany Trent. Set in an alternate version of London, this story features Vespa Nyx, a girl who works at her father's museum, where they display magical creatures known as Unnaturals. After a brief encounter with a boy named Syrus Reed, she learns the shocking truth about why the people of London capture Unnaturals and how doing so affects everything around them. Now, Vespa and Syrus must work together to free these creatures in order to save the world.
Next, at #2, is "The Charismatics" by Ashley R. Carlson. In the corrupt nation of Legalia, a woman named Ambrose Killaher is forced to marry the Duke of Shinery, who absolutely despises her. Amidst all the corruption and violence, Ambrose finds solace in her friend Roan, an invisible shapeshifter. After witnessing a brutal murder in a hidden courtroom, she is unwittingly thrust into the world of the supernatural and discovers that she has the power to save the country from the ruling class's evil plans.
In the corrupt nation of Legalia, a woman named Ambrose Killaher is forced to marry the Duke of Shinery, who absolutely despises her.
At #3 is "Wish for Me" by Diantha Jones under the pen name "A. Star." When Glory St. Pierre finds a genie lamp in her deceased grandmother's basement, she inadvertently releases Irving Amir, a Djinn who has a grudge against the human race. Irving hates Glory, but because she freed him, he's obligated to grant her three wishes. When the two of them go out for dinner, they're suddenly attacked by an unknown adversary, prompting them to put their differences aside and figure out who tried to kill them and why.
Next up, at #4, we have Alison DeLuca's "The Night Watchman Express." When Miriam's father dies, their family's mansion and business are left in the hands of Virgil and Theodosia Marchpane. Miriam soon discovers that her new guardians are planning something sinister, and the only people she can trust are their innocent son Simon and his friend Neil. Will they be able to foil the Marchpanes' plans before it's too late?
Next, at #5, is "The Brass Giant" by Brooke Johnson. Petra Wade is a seventeen-year-old clockwork engineer whose dream is to become a member of the Guild. Unfortunately, they don't accept girls like her. In an effort to prove herself as a skilled engineer, she helps a man named Emmerich Goss design a clockwork giant, but she has to keep her involvement in his project a secret, or else they'll both be severely punished.
Unfortunately, they don't accept girls like her.
At #6 is "The Tombs" by Deborah Schaumberg. After her mother is imprisoned for having strange powers, Avery Kohl is forced to work with her father at a factory. One day, she causes a bizarre explosion at her workplace. Realizing that she has the same magical abilities as her mother, Avery must come to terms with her true nature and outsmart the people who aim to capture her and use her powers for their own evil plans.
Next up, at #7, we have Richard Harland's "Song of the Slums." Seventeen-year-old Astor is set to marry a plutocrat named Lorrain Swale, but when her parents suddenly abandon her, she becomes a lowly governess instead. Treated horribly by the Swale family, she escapes with a mysterious man named Verrol. Together, the couple explores the slums of Brummingham, forming a street band and making revolutionary music in the process.
At #8 is "Lady of Devices" by Shelley Adina. In London in 1889, a girl named Claire Trevelyan struggles to find her place in the world. Coming from a privileged family, her life takes a drastic turn when her father gambles away all of their wealth. Fortunately, as a talented chemist, she quickly adjusts to her new life creating weapons for London's seedy underground, earning the title of Lady of Devices along the way.
Coming from a privileged family, her life takes a drastic turn when her father gambles away all of their wealth.
Finally, at #9, we have "The Pearl Wars" by Nick James. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where two factions fight over a mysterious power source known as Pearls. When Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson, two boys on opposite sides of the war, run into each other while searching for Pearls, they trigger an event that grants them strange abilities. Now, they're forced to work together in order to unravel the truth behind their newfound powers.