Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fires of Invention

This is one of those books that I was looking forward to for a very long time. I remember when the author, J. Scott Savage, first explained the premise to me after it was picked up by his publisher, Shadow Mountain. He told me then that he felt it was his best book so far. To him I have to say, yes, yes, it is! As many of you already know I am a HUGE fan of J. Scott Savage, not just his amazing books, but the amazing guy behind the books. He has been instrumental in not only my own writing career but I dare say hundreds of writers (young and old) and has become truly a great personal friend. Okay, enough man-gushing about Savage, let’s talk about his book: Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention.

There are few books that when I read them they inspire me to create art. Fires of Invention is one of them—which is rather ironic because in the world of Cove creating anything (art included) is against the law. That’s just one of the fun things I loved about this book. Another is that Savage has really embraced the idea of steampunk. While this isn’t set in a altered Victorian era it screams steampunk. The whole world of Cove is a giant machine and all its citizens are greasy gears working to make society flourish. Again and again this idea of cogs and gears is brought up and so intertwined in the belief system of the characters that it becomes real.

The one thing Savage has always done well in his books is create well-developed, relatable, realistic, lovable characters. His main character in this story is no exception! Middle-grade readers and beyond will connect with Trenton immediately. He is smart, determined, considerate, and brave. He is also filled with wonderful flaws which throughout the book you see him transform into strengths. It’s truly a story about accepting who you are not matter the costs and I like that a lot. I won’t go into too much detail about the building of the mechanical dragon or the other intense and brilliant moments in the book—you’ll just have to read it for yourself. This has been one of the best books I have read this year! The ending took me by surprise and I cannot wait for the next installment! Bravo, Savage!!

Summary of Fires of Invention:
Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy 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, whose father 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 unlikely 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.

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