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28 Awesome Steampunk Books for YA Readers

Steampunk is one of the more well-known subgenres under science fiction and fantasy, and is often set during the Victorian era. It features high technology that is almost completely reliant on the known scientific principles before the twentieth century – from steam power to galvanism. It also looks really, really cool. Perhaps because of the cool blend of science and fantasy in books that fall under the subgenre, and also because of the aesthetic, steampunk continues to hook in legions of fans who want to read about clockwork automata and amazing dirigibles.

YA literature proves to be fertile ground for steampunk books, as a lot of them are written for YA fans. Below, you’ll find a massive list of 28 steampunk YA titles that you may want to check out if you want to satisfy your steampunk cravings. Go check the list out!

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff


What do the readers say?

  • Stormdancer may get off to a relatively slow start as we are introduced to the complex and detailed world that Jay Kristoff has created but once the pace picks up it quickly gains momentum and the action doesn’t stop until the heart wrenching end. The author certainly isn’t afraid to take risks with his characters and there were times I was genuinely terrified for Yukiko and Buruu’s safety. It’s been a long time since I was quite so captivated by a story and to say that Stormdancer is an impressive debut would be an understatement...” – Sarah [Feeling Fictional]Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]



Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld


It is World War I, and the Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their steam-driven, high-powered, gun-loaded machines, the Clankers. The British Darwinists, meanwhile, have genetically fabricated animals as their weapons. The Leviathan is their most masterful beast, a whale airship of the British fleet. Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are from opposing sides, but their paths cross unexpectedly, the both of them boarding the Leviathan and going on an adventure that will forever alter their lives.

What do the readers say?

  • “There is no lack of suspense and action in this steampunk adventure. As a growing niche in the science fiction genre, this novel is sure to be popular amidst youth and adults alike. With events culminating in a climactic ending, there is room left open for a sequel, which I certainly am hoping for. It’s a fun, fresh and decidedly unique tale. Don’t miss this one.” – SciFiChickAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher


Finn has always been a prisoner in Incarceron – a prison so vast it’s basically a metal forest. He doesn’t remember his childhood or the world Outside, but he knows that he came from there. And the only one who can help him is Claudia, the warden’s daughter, who herself is trapped in a prison she wants to escape: an arranged marriage.

What do the readers say?

  • “I loved this book. The author does a great job of introducing the reader to both worlds–the one inside Incarceron and the one outside. Both POV’s flow seamlessly in this tale. Flinn’s struggles to find out if he does belong Outside are powerful. He refuses to accept the belief he can never leave. Both worlds are rich with detail…” – kbaccelliaAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]


The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


Hugo is an orphan, a clock keeper, and a theif, who lives in a train station in Paris. His survival rests on his being anonymous – but then he meets a bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth. Suddenly, Hugo’s life of anonymity is out in the open, as his most precious secret is threatened to be revealed, and a message from his dead father is at the core of this mystery.

What do the readers say?

  • “This is a timeless book about, among other things, time. This is a book for the ages, and a book for all ages. The story, the artwork, the writing style, the overall design, all first rate parts of a greater whole, like the precisely crafted mechanism of a fine Swiss clock.”John D. Bartone, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]


Boneshaker by Cherie Priest


Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine was built for mining Alaska’s ice, in a time when rumors of gold buried in the Klondike filled the air. But the Boneshaker, built by Leviticus Blue, doesn’t work as planned, and destroys part of downtown Seattle and revealing a subterranean vein of blight gas that can turn anyone who breathed it into the living dead. Sixteen years later, only a wall separates the toxic city from everything else. Briar Wilkes, Blue’s widow, lives beyond it, leading a hard life alone with a teenaged boy to support. They’re living a good enough life, but then Ezekiel, the boy, goes on a crusade to rewrite history – one that will take him into the city of the undead – and many other horrors besides.

What do the readers say?

  • “Boneshaker was recommended to me as a great read for newbies in the steampunk genre and I loved it! I’ve passed along the recommendation ever since.”Julypumpkin, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge


The Proctors rule in the city of Lovecraft, and anyone who wants to oppose their rule is ground by the great Engine. The city is consumed by an epidemic of madness, and the streets are filled with strange creatures the come out after dark. It is all Heretical, according to the city’s leaders – and this spells danger for Aoife Grayson and her family. Her entire family is mad, and Aoife is the only one who’s managed to enter the School of Engines. Aoife wants to believe that her fate can be different from that of her family’s, but in a world like Lovecraft, there is no certainty of this.

What do the readers say?

  • “I found myself quickly caught up in this world of monsters, magic and impossible technology. Kittredge has developed quite a range.”WineDaddy, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Airman by Eoin Colfer


What do the readers say?

  • “I hung on every adventure Conor had while in prison. His struggles against Malarkey, the man the Marshall had hired to thrash him every day for weeks, as well as the Battering Rams, the gang that ran the prisoners, all had me flipping pages in an effort to find some hope for him. The writing is great and feels like a narrative, to a degree, from those classic novels of adventure. There’s just enough worldly scope and bouncing around the various characters to reveal everything else that’s going on to make everything feel more real and interesting.” – Mel OdomAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]


A Latent Dark by Martin Kee


Skyla lives in the city of Bollingbrook, and has lived there her entire life, with teh airship factories and trainyards as her playground. Skyla has been left largely unnoticed, but the girl has a truly impressive talent: she can see people’s fears, desires, and past sins swimming around them. Her mother has always warned her of the dangers that went on outside the city walls, but Skyla never understood fully – until a stranger arrives at Bollingbrook who is called the Pope of the South, a witch hunter whose appearance coincides with the disappearance of so many children.

What do the readers say?

  • “Very well written and looking forward to the next adventure in Skyla’s world. If you like intrigue, adventure, (a little)religious zealotry, and the after-life, then don’t hesitate to give this book a read. You won’t regret it!” – Kunal, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Clockwork Giant by Brooke Johnson


Petra Wade is a clock engineer who wants nothing more than to become a member of the elite Guild. She’s only a lowly shop girl and her chances are low, but Petra never stops dreaming and continues to play with machines while she works and babysits her foster siblings. When she meets Emmerich Goss, a handsome new recruit of the Guild who wants her to design a new clockwork system for a secret automaton, Petra believes that she’s finally found the perfect opportunity. But if people find out that she’s involved in Emmerich’s project, he will be marked for treason, and Petra’s fate will be worse. So the two build the automaton in secret – and along the way, Petra discovers the conspiracy within the Guild council.

What do the readers say?

  • “I like Steam Punk ! I needed to say that before the rest of this review is submitted. And qualifies as good steam punk. It has clock work, steam powered things, cantilevered spring mechanisms and adequate character development. It is also very much a YA book, read that as a young YA book … that said, it has some requisite characters, some very soft romance but a good idea for the overall plot.”Dion Morse, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Lumiere by Jacqueline Garlick


Eyelet Elsworth only wants to find her father’s invention, the Illuminator – an invention that disappeared the day the sun disappeared forever in England. With her father gone and her mother arrested for a crime she wasn’t involve with, Eyelet must now live alone and track down her father’s machine – the only chance of curing her affliction, living in the darkness all her life. When she finally finds the machine, however, it is with a man hauling it off. Eyelet has no choice but to follow it, and to delve deep into a dark and dangerous world.

What do the readers say?

“Lumiere, the first book in Jacqueline Garlick’s Illumination Pardox series, is a glistening gem for steampunk and fantasy lovers alike. Quirky, loveable characters and the witty dialogue, especially between Eyelet and Urlick, make this story come

Etiquette and Espionage
by Gail Carriger


Sophronia’s an odd fourteen-year-old, more interested in tinkering with clocks and playing outdoors than learning proper manners. Mrs. Temminnick, her mother, is horrified, and only wants her daughter to grow up a proper lady fit for society, so she sends Sophronia off to Mademoisell Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But what Mrs. Temminnick doesn’t know, and what Sophronia discovers, is that the girls in the Academy learn all kinds of fine arts – from dancing and dresses to death and espionage. Sophronia is in for her first year of education, and it will be an exciting ride.

What do the readers say?

  • “Ultimately, I loved this book. I found it totally charming, with its combination of polite manners, adventure, and emphasis on practical skills such as how to fake a faint without wrinkling your skirts. I would absolutely enroll in this type of finishing school.”Kim, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev


Surgeon Calvin Warwick implants a brass Ticker in Penny Farthing Chest, and the machine saves her – but also turns her into an Augmented. And Calvin Warwick’s background isn’t exactly clean, as he had to kill people before he could make an improved Ticker for Penny. On the last day of Warwick’s trial, however, tragedy befalls Penny’s family, as her family’s factory is bombed, her parents disappear, and her brother Nic gets a ransom note asking for all of their Augmentation research in exchange for the return of their parents. Penny and Nic, desperate to get their parents back, recruit baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman Sebastian Stirling, and army general Marcus Kingsley to help the in their journey.

What do the readers say?

  • “Filled with quick-witted dialog, tons of action and suspense, and truly superb world-building, this novel was phenomenally constructed. As this mystery unfolds, we are introduced to a host of wonderfully developed characters and more twists and turns than I can count. As the crew works to locate Penny and Nic’s parents…”Rachael, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Jackaby by William Ritter


Abigail Rooks arrives in England needing a new job, so when she meets R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the supernatural, she realizes that she’d be the perfect assistant. She has the ability to notice particularly important details, and is well-suited for the job. On the first day, however, Abigail is set on a thrilling case: a serial killer is on the loose, and Jackaby believes that this one is made by the kind of creature that authorities – except detective Charlie Cane – do not believe in.

What do the readers say?

  • “So, well conceived, populated by engaging characters, well written and nicely paced. That makes this book a very attractive addition to the young detective shelf. Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.”Pop Bop, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson


Verity Newton manages to find a job as a governess to a wealthy family in New York – but the family has secrets. It turns out that the family is one of the magisters, or the rulers of the colony, but one of their uncles is a rebel sympathetic to the cause of underground engineers and mechanics that will help them emancipate themselves from British rule. Verity falls for the rebel and agrees to become a spy, but she also gets involved in the life of the family. She realizes that she’s in an advantageous position to help the rebel cause – but she may have to reveal her secret.

What do the readers say?

  • “I really loved Rebel Mechanics. I thought it was such an entertaining read that kept me glued from start to finish. I’m completely sold on these characters and can’t wait for more (there had better be a sequel).”My Friends Are Fiction, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall


The real-life Lucy Weston isn’t happy that she’s portrayed by the author Bram Stoker as a wanton creature of the night, so she tracks down the author to ask him. With Stoker’s help, she wants to find the one who transformed her – which leads her to the Crystal Palace, where death reigns. It’s up to Lucy to stop a war that can spark between vampires and humans, and ultimately make a choice for herself and decide what it means to be human.

What do the readers say?

  • “I was impressed with Cornwall’s depictions of her make-believe vampire world. Vampires are overly analyzed in our literary world today, but Cornwall’s interpretation was almost believable in a sense. The scenery, especially The Crystal Palace, was very versatile and I could grasp the steampunk side of this world as the descriptions floated off the stage. She did something different with vampires that hasn’t been done yet and I really appreciated her aim as a writer. She made a bold move writing about vampires but I salute her because she executed it down to the final paragraph.”Chelsey Lynn, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Steel Lily by Megan Curd


Avery Pike is a water Elementalist, and her existence is guarded, whatever happens. Her kind is dwindling, and as she’s the strongest of her kind, she is needed to provide steam to fuel Dome Four – the one thing that’s separating humanity and a world ravaged by the third world war. The Dome is life, and it must be maintained. But a mysterious man comes and offers her a way out of the kind of life she is leading, and away from the corrupt Dome Four government. Avery is intrigued and takes on the offer, but realizes that there are still problems where she is now – kept as secrets that she has to uncover.

What do the readers say?

“Author Megan Curd has built a believable world where people sacrifice, deceive and control others to reach different goals. Entertaining characters go on an exciting adventure; you will read quickly to keep up with the action. I applaud Megan in her effort to both amuse and inspire her readers. Steel Lily is a book you will read, enjoy and recommend more than once. Stellar endeavor, and I look forward to the next installment of the Periodic Series.”Miss Kris, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Song of the Slums by Richard Harland


The outcast gangs in the slums of Brummingham are making new music with wild drums and guitars. Astor Vance has been trained in classical music, but when her life takes a turn down, the only music she’s able to play is the music from the slums. Her servant Verrol is now her partner in crime, and the only one she could trust – if only he told her about his past.






Airborn by Kenneth Oppel


Matt Cruse is a cabin boy aboard the airship Aurora, which sails hundreds of feet over the ocean and serves as a ferry for wealthy passengers. It’s the life Matt’s always dreamed of, living in the skies and feeling lighter than air. One night, Matt meets a dying balloonist who regales him with stories of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. When he meets his granddaughter, it is only then that Matt thinks that maybe the man’s stories are true.

What do the readers say?

“Oppel really hits his stride in this book, mixing science with science fiction and wrapping it in a fantasy tortilla. While his bat books were quite good, “Airborn” has the rare quality of slipping readers into his imagined universe. It’s one of those stories that can be easily imagined as a reality, even if we do have planes and not airships. He even describes how creatures like the cloud cats could fly, were they real.”EA Solinas, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Larklight by Phillip Reeve


Art Mumby and his sister Myrtle live in Larklight, a large house that travels through space and follows an orbit beyond the Moon. One morning, they receive a letter that tells them a Mr. Webster is visiting, and when he finally arrives, they go on an adventure that will lead them through the farthest corners of Known Space to battle the First Ones and save the Universe.

What do the readers say?

“All in all, it’s a romp. A show. A true example of sci-fi done to the maximum amusement of its readers. That this book isn’t well known to all children everywhere is a crime. But science fiction hasn’t hit the renaissance that fantasy has. As a result, we must push and push to bring books of this caliber to the attention of the world. I’ve done my part. I suggest you, on the other hand, just go through the motions of reading it. Once you have, sheer exuberance for how good it is should take care of the rest.”E.R. Bird, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon


Jonathan lives an ordinary life, but when the king enlists him and his father to cure a deadly plague, his life turns from ordinary to extraordinary: he discovers that he’s actually a prodigy who can work with a chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations. This changes Jonathan’s life forever.

What do the readers say?

“The story never had a dull moment, either. It was action and adventure all the way through! There is so much life and fun and imagery in the way she tells a story and it leaves a strong impression. As I read, I couldn’t help but daydream about Studio Ghibli making an animated film for it, and I’d sometimes reread scenes and try to picture what it’d look like animated by the same folks behind Howl’s Moving Castle.”C. Parks, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Falconer
by Elizabeth May


Aileana Kameron looks like she’s part of the Edinburgh aristocracy, but she has, in fact, been spending the past year developing her abilities to sense the Sithichean, a faery race that wants to slaughter the human race. Her mission is to destroy the faery who murdered her mother. But then she discovers that she’s a Falconer, part of the line of female warriors who serve as the only hope of the humans to fight the faeries. Suddenly, her journey for revenge gets more complicated.

What do the readers say?

  • “I do not give out 5 stars easily at all, but I honestly believe that this novel is deserving of such. I enjoyed the entire thing, beginning to end. The writing style is an easy read, but with depth and character. I hadn’t expected the sort of steampunk bit, and I really liked that part of it. It made the style and time of the book rather unique (at least compared to other period books I’ve read) and even more interesting to read.”Hannah Feild, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey


Meg’s parents are killed when her home is set on fire, and her family’s fortune and her future are both lost. All that’s left to her is a pocket watch rescued from the ashes – but the clock actually turns out to be a key that only she can use, which can unlock secrets and clues that Meg is compelled to follow. She eventually uncovers evidence of a secret society and a dangerous invention – one that only Meg can destroy. Meg, with the help of a handsome stable hand, gets swept into a world of secrets and revenge.

What do the readers say?

“I immensely enjoyed this book. It had a good flow to it and it left me breathless waiting to turn the next page. It seemed to take awhile for the storyline to get into motion and it was quite depressing at first but sticking with the book rewarded me with the action and adventure that made this book so lively. Some questions were left unanswered which I hope will be brought to life in the sequel but all in all it was a great read with a well thought out storyline and descriptions that made you feel you were standing right there with the characters.” – JenningsM, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel


The outbreak of the plague called The Laz has turned thousands of people into the living dead. But not all undead are just ravenous and hungry for flesh – some can reason and speak – like zombie Bram Griswold, who is in a relationship with Nora Dearly, a woman of privilege. Despite their differences, they have each other. But as the tensions between pro- and anti-zombie factions escalate, Nora and Bram’s relationship is put to risk. Especially as a new strain of “The Laz” appears, and the nation of New Victoria prepares for the next wave.

What do the readers say?

  • “This book is the second in the series and includes the hallmarks of the first book that I really enjoyed. For instance, this book is told from multiple perspectives. While some might find that a bit overwhelming, I liked being able to see things happening to people during the same time periods and get hints as to who was involved in what (there is plenty of intrigue).” – llg115, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina


Claire Trevelyan is the daughter of Viscount St. Ives, and was expected to do nothing more than be part of polite society and get a rich husband. But Claire prefers the chemistry lab and the explosions that happen inside over any ballroom – something that eventually works to her advantage when her father gambles their entire estate on a combustion engine and loses everything they own. Claire finds herself in the streets and soon becomes a new leader in the underworld scene, the Lady of Devices. When Claire meets Andrew Malvern of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes that she may be able to do more than just craft explosive devices. Her skills may help her realize her own dream, and Andrew’s – but somewhere close, betrayal lurks.

What do the readers say?

  • “Shelley Adina’s opened the door to a Victorian Steampunk world that fascinates us in today’s 21st Century. “Lady of Devices”, the first of Adina’s trilogy in the Magnificent Devices series, is full of wonderful characters from the Lords and Ladies to the charmingly drawn young gang of hoodlums that Claire falls in with. Adina manages to lure us into the steampunk era with joy and excitement. Her plotline is strong and the cast of characters are well interwoven, it’s Adina’s vivid descriptions of Victorian London that make you turn the pages.”Novel Chatter, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose


Vivienne’s world is filled with knights, ladies, absinthe, outlaw magic and alchemy. She is Guinevere, the future queen of Camelot’s, lady-in-waiting, but at night she secretly stays in Merlin’s tower to be the recovering magic-addicated wizard’s apprentice. Then Vivienne meets Marcus, a young man below her class who is destined to be a night, and with whom Vivienne is forbidden to have a relationship. When the king’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, declares war on Camelot, Merlin believes that they can create a beast powered by team and alchemy. And Vivienne will help. But if she wants to help, she has to risk everything – her apprenticeship, her relationship with Marcus, and her very own life.

What do the readers say?

“The book was absolutely freaking awesome! It took a few chapters to warm up and settle into the world, but once I did I didn’t want to put the book down. I was constantly surprised by the awesome I found within the pages. I loved the characters, the world, the action and even the ending! This is a first in a series but the ending was done RIGHT! No major cliffhanger but at the same time we’re left knowing that some serious awesome in going to come in the next book! I highly recommend!”Candace Robinson, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Ironskin by Tina Connolly


The only way that Jane Eliot can hide the fey curse scarring her cheeks is to wear an iron mask. It’s the mark that declares her ironskin, one of the victims of The Great War. When Jane finds a job listing asking for help for a child who is in a “delicate situation,” she is certain that the child is fey-cursed, and that she has the power to help. Now Jane is helping Dorie deal with her curse – but she didn’t expect to fall for Dorie’s father, the artist Edward Rochart, who is surrounded by women who enter his studio ugly and come out beautiful. Now Jane proceeds to unlock the secrets of a life she never expected she’d have – and just how far she will go to make herself whole again.

What do the readers say?

“Really outstanding story – the fae are diabolical and scary and our heroine inventive and brave, I loved it. With its steampunk and fantasy elements, we have Jane, a governess who wears an iron mask to cover her fey-cursed scars, which also acts to dampen her curse. She takes a position caring for Dory, a child born during the Great War against the fey, that Jane believes is fey-cursed but is sure she can help. Dory’s father is intriguing, dark and brooding, and Jane is smitten, but of course that just complicates her life in all sorts of ways. I enjoyed the world building and background of the humans interactions and then war with the fey, and look forward to reading more books in this series.”Barbara Elness, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleeson


Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are vampire huters and mystery solvers – preoccupations that they inherited from their famous relatives, Bram Stoker and Sherlock Holmes, respectively. When two society girls go missing, Evaline and Mina are the ones who set out to investigate. But the two must resolve their own personal rivalry and deal with the advances of three mysterious gentlemen. And they have to solve a murder with only an Egyptian scarab as a clue. The stakes are high, and if Stoker and Holmes don’t solve it, they might just be the next victims.

What do the readers say?

  • “I read a lot of books, but there are certain settings and elements that make me want to read any book that has them in it. Well, this story hit a lot of my must-read points that made it very excited to read, and it did not disappoint. It’s a Sherlock Holmes retelling of sorts, and who doesn’t love Sherlock Holmes? The book is set in London in the 1800s, and if you have read many of my reviews you will know that this is my favorite time setting for a book. Then you add a hint of steampunk inventions, paranormal elements, and time travel and you pretty much hit the trifecta. It has dreamy boys, and awesome heroines that are totally unique in their own way. The plot is interesting and has some good twists that I wasn’t expecting.” Dark Faerie Tales, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell


Nicolette’s stepsisters call her “Mechanica” as a way to demean her, but the nickname fits, as Nicolette learned to be an inventor with her late mothers guidance. But now, alone, she lives a life of servitude, dedicated to the Steps. When she discovers a secret workship in the cellar, however, and finds a tiny magical metal horse called Jules, Nicolette starts to imagine a new life for herself. And the opportunity to realize this new life might just be around the corner, as a technological exposition and a royal ball are about to happen. Determined to arrive at her own happily-ever-after, Mechanica resolves to do her best to impress the prince and the eager entrepreneurs in the expo.

What do the readers say?

“Mechanica was a great book to read. I love how the book is related to Cinderella, but it has some plot and character twists. I like the theme that I get from it, which is that we choose our happily ever after by how much effort and work we are willing to put into our dreams. I also really liked how the author introduced the concept of family into the fairy tale by portraying the different people and creatures Mechanica comes to know throughout her life and how her love and faith in them turn them into her family.”Britt, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

And we reach the end of our list! A list of 28 books seems pretty short considering that there are a lot of other cool steampunk YA books out there – so if you think we missed out on something and want other readers to know, drop us a line!



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