The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer
Posted by Caitie F on April 22, 2014
Summary from pub:
In this world, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.
The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.
I really think steampunk can be a successful genre, but so far, it hasn’t been. Combining it with an alternate history so different adds to the appeal, as does a best-selling author. So maybe this will be the book to finally break out. I hope it is.
It is great. In this world, there was no Revolutionary War and the class differences in the colonies is even worse than it is in the United States now. There are different levels of society and only the Upper Level can go wherever they please. It is a fascinating look at what could have been and what could be. But if alternate history isn’t your thing, there are great characters and a intriguing plot.
But there is a group that lives outside of the society, a group of children. Their parents are rebels and have set up a place run by older children so they can live outside of the tyranny and one day join the forces. Charlotte and her brother are seen as the leaders and go into the city along with Jack to get more information. It is her first time in the city, and the culture shock is high. It was great to see it through her eyes because it showed how ridiculous the very wealthy are. Charlotte is an awesome character, no one expects as much from her because she is a young girl, but she is smart and daring.
There is a love triangle, but it is actually a very good one. I buy both love interests and see how she is pulled from one to the other. At one point I wanted to reach in the book and slap one of the guys…so it is pretty realistic too, because teenaged boys do stupid things!
The story is full of mystery and suspense. The answers are not always so clear and when they are revealed the reader is left with so many more questions, but in a good way.
This is a really great book and I look forward to the next one in the series. My only problem with it is that the end was a bit of a cliffhanger, which is always frustrating!
Do you like steampunk or alternate histories? Have you read any good ones? Let me know in the comments.