[ARC Review] The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

Monday, April 21, 2014

Title: The Inventor's Secret
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series:  The Inventor's Secret #1
Genre: Steampunk Adventure
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: April 22nd 2014
Publisher: Philomel
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

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. Perfect for fans of Libba Bray's The Diviners, Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, ScottWesterfeld's Leviathan and Phillip Reeve's Mortal Instruments.

Steampunk is not a genre that is popular at the moment but I have a few in the past and i have loved all of them. I love the combination of history and technology and the whole combination of the two is fascinating. When I saw that Andrea Cremer was writing her own steampunk series I knew I had to read it ASAP, and I was not disappointed.

The world that Andrea created was brilliant in so many ways, it was dripping with history and yet felt entirely foreign to me. I loved that although I was reading about a different time where customs were entirely different than my own, I still felt connected to story and its characters. I did not feel like the world took over the entire story either, there was enough detail in order for me to get a sense of what was going on around the characters, but not so much that I got distracted from the actual storyline.

I especially loved Charlotte, our narrator because she was so strong and independent and did not need anyone to help her through life. I loved that she was still a little naive to the world outside of where she existed. It made her seem more real to me. Although there was a romance and a boy that is swoon worthy for sure, I didn't feel like it overtook the mystery aspect of the book. There were moments where I thought the romance was overdone and that they were plot devices in order to create conflict for Charlotte, but it was not too often that this happened. And I will admit that I did like her love interest very much, there was great sexual tension for much of the book and that created a great relationship between Charlotte and Jack.

What I think i loved the most about this book was that Andrea showcased and very real relationship between a brother and sister, and honestly it was my favorite relationship in the whole book. It was infuriating at times but I also felt the love they had for each other. I am so glad that this book is the beginning of a series because I cannot wait to see where this story goes and where these characters end up, especially with the way the book ended!

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