Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Inventor's Secret
Publication: Philomel (April 22, 2014)
Description: New from Andrea Cremer, the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade novels, comes an action-packed alternate-history steampunk adventure.
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, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan and Phillip Reeve's Mortal Engines.
My Thoughts: Andrea Cremer combines alternate history and steampunk in this exciting beginning to a new series. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte lives in the Catacombs with other children of rebels waiting to grow up and join their parents in the revolution. Because in this story, the American revolutionaries lost the fight and the Americas are under control of a repressive British Empire.
Charlotte gets a chance to visiting the glowing floating city of New York with her brother Ash, her friends Jack and Meg, and a strange boy named Grave that she rescued from one of the Empire's steampunk devices. In the city, Charlotte learns lots of secrets about Meg and Jack and Grave. Charlotte also meets new friends in Lord Ott, Linnet, and Jack's older brother Coe. Relationships grow and change as the characters split up to further the revolution as best each can. There is even the beginning of a love triangle of a sort. Charlotte is torn between Jack and Coe.
I loved the steampunk details that filled this story - the floating city itself, the exploding mice, the spies in the form of crows and rabbits. I thought it was great that Charlotte has a pet gun named Pocky. I can't wait for more books to find out what happens next for these characters.
Charlotte wanted to study Jack's face, to know if she'd find joy or fear in his expression. Her fingers curled around the arms of the gunner's chair as she thought of not only watching Jack, but sitting close to him as he controlled the aircraft. Her daydream evolved of its own accord, and she imagined reaching out to rest her hand over Jack's to feel the way he guided the ship.I bought this autographed copy at a recent author signing. You can buy your copy here.