Series: The Inventor's Secret #1
Published by Penguin on April 22nd 2014
Buy on Amazon
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 from the coastal cities 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.
The Inventor’s Secret is a mix of steampunk adventure, romance and dystopian elements. The book focuses on Charlotte, a girl who seeks out dangerous missions to help their resistance of teenagers in the Catacombs. Her brother Ash is in charge until he turns 18 and his friend Jack seems to have sparked an sudden romantic interest in his little sister. Things change when they find a boy they name Grave being attacked by one of the devices meant to hunt and kill. Charlotte brings him back and they find he is a bit.. strange.
Due to a couple different circumstances, Charlotte finds herself part of a ruse to gain more information and infiltrate the city of New York. Only, she is doing so as a debutante, coming out for the season. I love steampunk because of the mix of futuristic devices and historic times. I love the idea of a floating city and loved their exploration in the different parts.
Charlotte finds out that Jack’s history ties him to a wealthy family and finds herself equally enchanted by his older brother Coe. There seems to be a love triangle introduced here, with the two brothers vying for Charlotte’s attention. I also loved Grave, who you knew there was something wrong with…something deeper going on. I loved that twist and cannot wait to see where the series is going with it. I really enjoyed this book and the world. I cannot wait to learn more and see what happens to my favorite characters.
A strong start to a new steampunk series, I’m looking forward to more romance, action and intrigue in the next part of the series.