Demon in the Machine

by Lise MacTague

At the height of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, steam power and magic join forces to create wonders the world has never seen. But those wonders have a dark side—one that will soon force a reckoning few could have anticipated.

Half-demon Briar is content with her structured life as an archivist, a far cry from the chaos of her background and upbringing. Briar’s simple and predictable existence is rocked when she discovers something sinister powers one of the grand, new inventions of her era.

Isabella Castel, the only daughter of Viscount Sherard, is far from the brainless socialite she pretends to be. Isabella is everything Briar is not: passionate, creative and impulsive, but with secrets to rival even Briar’s own. Two more unlikely partners should not exist, yet if the women cannot find a way to work together, they will lose far more than their reputations.

Can a half-demon and a debutante work past their secrets before all hell breaks loose?





In stock

Genre Fantasy, Steampunk
Length 340 pages
Publication Date June 14, 2018
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781594935671e
Editor Medora MacDougall
Cover Designer Sandy Knowles


GCLS Goldie Awards
Demon in the Machine — Finalist, Science-Fiction/Fantasy and Tee Corinne Award for Outstanding Cover Art.


"I usually come up with stories based on What If? and Demon in the Machine is no exception. A steampunk novel with paranormal and romantic elements set in Victorian London, the story explores the overlap between technology and magic. I already had Briar and Isabella ready to go, they simply needed a structure to play in. I found myself noodling on the limitations of steam as a technology and what might supplement that tech to enable it to perform the wondrous feats we generally see in steampunk stories. Of course, the answer was magic, specifically of the demonic variety. After all, who better to make a devil’s bargain with than actual demons?"

—Lise MacTague


The Lesbian Review
…is an exquisite steampunk and paranormal mashup permeated with action, mystery and romance! This book had my heart thundering in my chest on so many levels! One of the many things I love about MacTague’s writing is her ability to create strong, complex and ‘real’ characters and the wonderful dynamic she develops between them. This book is no exception! All great steampunk features wonderful gadgets and contraptions and this novel is rife with such inventions as multi-functional goggles, powerful jump suits enabling the scaling of tall buildings and, of course, the new horseless carriage. My favourite aspect is how MacTague adds her own flair to these gadgets in terms of how they are powered. I also love how she brilliantly captures the atmosphere; the romance, etiquette and manners of the Victorian era and then pumps it full of grotesque imps and demons! However, what really draws me in to Lise’s novels is her fantastic characterization. So, if you enjoy layered, well realized and imperfect but enticing characters, then this book is definitely for you!

MacTague is really suited to Steampunk! She excels at writing stories with strong women and Briar and Isabella are no exception. Demon in the Machine is a wonderful mélange of mystery, steampunk, paranormal and romance that is appealing on so many levels!

Lex’s Reviews - I’m a steampunk story fan and this just fit that bill perfectly. This was filled with great inventions, dirigibles and annoying women’s clothing. I also enjoyed how MacTague seamlessly joined the magic and paranormal aspects perfectly together. I know I’m being pretty vague here but I don’t want to give any spoilers away. I loved the two main characters. Both women have the side that society sees, than they have their big secrets. The characters had dimension which I really appreciated. I easily connected with them and cared about what was going to happen to them. Besides the great imagination MacTague has for the main storyline, I was impressed with the romance. A lot of times stories that involve saving the world, authors don’t spend as much time developing their characters feelings. These characters definitely had chemistry together. If you are a steampunk or paranormal fan definitely grab this one. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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