Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret, #1)

I've read and really enjoyed everything that Andrea has written that is set in the Nightshade world.  I've never read any steampunk, so this qualified for my "New to You" challenge.

Steampunk is very different from any other books I have read.  Everything is somehow altered and embellished with metal and there are "tinkerers" who are constantly working on their latest inventions.

The story takes place shortly after England won the Revolutionary war and the rebels were sentenced to 20 years of servitude.  Even the children are expected to repay this debt to the British Empire, so many have gone into hiding until they are eighteen and can join their parents in battle.  Charlotte and her brother Ash have been hiding in the Catacombs with several other children who's parents are part of the resistance.  

While Charlotte is out scavenging one day, she finds a boy running from one of the Empire's gathering machines.  She takes him back to the Catacombs, but there is something odd about him.  He is very cold, pale white, and he can't remember anything about his past.  He doesn't know his name, where he came from, or even why he was running when Charlotte found him.

Ash and Meg are the eldest in the Catacombs  and have taken on the leadership roles.  They decide their best course of action is to take the boy, who they refer to as Grave, to see Meg's mother in the city.  Hopefully they will be able to find out the truth about the boy, so they can determine  if he is a threat to the Catacombs.

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but the characters spend a considerable amount of time in the Floating City as we uncover the truth about several characters and the state of the war.  There is some relationship drama, which aids in keeping the pages turning.  I really hope the characters can sort out their feelings in the next book, so we can get past some of the awkward and tense encounters that plagued this novel.  

This book did not leave me with the same...I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment...feeling I had at the end of each Nightshade book, but it was an entertaining story.  I am invested enough in the characters and the story to read the second book, The Conjurer's Riddle, which is expected to be released in November of 2015.  I don't think I will seek out additional steampunk books in the future, but I will continue with this series for now.


  1. I had a copy of this one, but have to admit that middling reviews made me reluctant to pick it up. I love the idea of steampunk more than I actually like reading it. I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part, even if you didn't love it. Great review!

    1. I retuned this book to the library unread after renewing it a few times several months ago. When I saw it again at the library, I decided I would give it another try. I really liked the characters and the concept is good. It just needs more emotion and less of the mechanical feel, but I guess I should have expected that given the genera.

  2. I have had my eye on this one for a while and I do enjoy Steampunk - I really need to check it out and see what I think
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. If you like steampunk and YA this is probably a great book. I loved the characters and the concept is good. It it had more emotion and weren't so matter of fact, I probably would have given it 4 stars.