Trenton Colman is exceptionally creative with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and "invention" is a curse word.
Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, who died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.
Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.
Fires of Invention was a fantastic read! It's geared toward Middle Grade/young YA, but even adult readers would enjoy this story. The setting was interesting and unique, the characters likable, and the plot had plenty of suspense and action to keep readers engaged. It's definitely a great beginning to a new series!
Trenton is still coming into his own. He's unsure exactly how to find his place in society, how to deal with girls, how to fulfill his dreams while also remaining compliant with the government. Kallista was a ball of sass and smarts. She was such an interesting character. They work off of and compliment each other with the way they love seeing how things work and inventing and creating new things. They are both deeply curious, which doesn't fit in this society. There were also some other characters important to the story who could have been fleshed out a little better, but still played their roles well.
The story starts off with somewhat of a bang to introduce readers to Trenton and his classmates. It then moves on fairly quickly as readers get a look at this society, Trenton's parents, government leaders, and then the plot thickens. There was a constant feeling of suspense and urgency and a big climax towards the end. It also left a perfect set up for book two.
I would definitely recommend Fires of Invention to middle grade and YA readers, as well as adults who would enjoy an exciting tale of two kids trying to find their place while solving a mystery left behind. In the end, they may just be the only ones to save their world.
Content: Some violence but otherwise clean.
Source: I would like to thank Shadow Mountain for my complimentary ARC, which did not affect my review in any way.
This is a very creative (gasp!) and fun middle-grader book! I was hooked from the beginning. It is well written and has great character development. I especially liked Trenton, Kallista, and Simoni. I loved that there was both a strong boy and girl character. I enjoyed learning about the history of Cove, how it came to be, and how it all worked. I liked the message of this book: creativity and ingenuity are wonderful things! I especially liked that it was clean! There is no profanity, no "intimacy," and very little violence. You may read my full review on my book blog: the-readathon.blogspot.com.
Savage has started this new series off with a bang, literally. Trenton is a thirteen-year-old boy with a special knack with mechanical things, even though he avoids calling what he does inventing because the society he lives in frowns on it. But when he gets in trouble for that very thing and is blackmailed into helping do something risky it starts him on a remarkable journey. When he meets Kallista the daughter of a famous 'wrong-doer' in the eyes of the city he starts learning things that shock him, but also intrigue him, and in the end may help them save their home. The twist that Savage throws in near the end is a doozy and I loved it, it added a great new feel to the story and emphasizes the fact that assumptions are dangerous even when they are long held beliefs. I really enjoyed this book and I think a lot of young fantasy lovers will as well, especially with that mechanical dragon on the cover.
This is an exciting new steampunk series that kept me turning the pages through the night. I couldn't put it down and loved everything about it from the characters to the setting and the plot. It's a wonderful new world that we've been introduced to and as you can see from the cover, there are dragons in this world! I love the adventure that Trenton and Kallista take us on. This is a book that is for all age groups, especially those who love an fantastic, entertaining new series. I can't wait for the next installment.
Popular young adult author J. Scott Savage delivers another thrilling adventure sure to excite young readers. His latest young adult series, Mysteries of Cove, starts with a bang. Cool inventions, dangerous secrets, and a wild ride that excites the imagination in readers of all ages with a hint of fantasy.
Wow! I loved, loved this book. I was sold from the moment I saw the cover. A mechanical dragon? Yes, please! I’m a sucker for all things dragons. Then he threw in a city built into a mountain, a society that outlawed creativity and inventions, and a dangerous secret. Who can resist that? I loved seeing how a society that outlawed any form of improvement could function. The Chancellor was a huge annoyance and I enjoyed how he was dealt with in the end. Trenton and Kallista’s friendship, with its rocky start, warmed my heart at how they worked together to save their city. Trenton’s character had great growth as he went from fearful follower to someone who believed in their own abilities.
One word: AMAZING!
Okay, that isn't all I'm going to say, but that word sums up this book perfectly. I absolutely loved this book. The imagination and creativity involved in this story is mind-blowing. I'm not surprised though, Jeff is an extremely talented author who dazzles me every time I read one of his books. I loved how it was illegal to think outside of the box, to change things, to invent something new. I won't get into the history of Cove in my review, but it is fascinating. What a treasure trove of secrets Cove is. I really liked Trenton. I think of him as a talented young man with wondrous potential and ingenuity. Kallista needed to grow on me for a bit, but quickly she won me over too, she's has a sad history. Trenton is dealt a major blow early on, and is betrayed by someone close to him, but as the story goes, there are reasons. I loved the adventure the two take on to solve the mystery of what Kallista's father left behind. Can't wait for book 2, why can't time go faster?!?
5 out of 5 stars. This book was a joy to read, another testament as to why I love middle grade fiction so much! Bravo, Jeff!
I received a paperback ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What a FANTASTIC story!
I LOVE this genre!
Trenton and Kallista are very believable! So fun to go with them as they followed the clues and built the machine--and what a machine it was :)
It was interesting to read about a people who were afraid of technological advances and why...I can so understand--
What a FUN TWIST that really brought them to the inner mountain--so creative on the author's part!
And talk about a system of mines and tunnels and levels--WOW!
Hidden messages, flying machines, dragons, fears, and friendship--
You will so fall in crazy like with this story!
Grab a copy and share it with EVERYONE!