Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Inventor's Secret

The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

I don't know what I was expecting.

Andrea Cremer wrote a book with David Levithan once and I love David Levithan, so why not read this book, right?

She's apparently an international bestseller for some other stuff she's written too.

.....I don't think this book lives up those precedents.

An amazon summary, "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.AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE THE PRAISE BECAUSE IT RUINED ALL MY FORMATTING THINGS

Okay, so first off, this book tries to play itself as this wonderful resistance book with all sorts of neat gadgets and steampunk oddities. kind of did that. But what the book really concentrated on was Charlotte suddenly going through weird spouts of character development, coupled by inconsistent feelings, and appearing to be an unstable pretty girl that likes a particular weapon. 

So, ignoring Charlotte, the freaking narrator, the book asks the question, "What if the American revolution didn't succeed? What would North America look like? What would have happened to that area of the world?"

Which it answered pretty sweetly but in convoluted fashions that don't really give a clear timeline of how old some events are in correlation to others. ....I think I paid more attention to the details than the book wanted me to.


So the story starts out with Charlotte living in the catacombs (an underground network of caves) with her brother and other children of the rebellion. They go on raids for supplies, constantly irk each other, and something bigger seems to be a foot as her brother and Jack take private messages. Charlotte is determined to find out what. Charlotte finds out by following them, and it turns out they're going to infiltrate high society on a floating city and make contact with rebel forces there.

The point of them entering the floating city is soon lost on me as everything is suddenly swept into Charlotte being a lady of high society, finding all the society protocols as useless, and in general having a hard time with life as she suddenly has developed emotions higher than an 8 year old....but she's only at about an 11 year old (don't get your hopes up).

I found a lot of the plot and action didn't mesh well together, there were things about the high society that were overexplained or underexplained and other things that started to happen that didn't make sense.

ALSO. There was this dude named ghost who had a magnet stick to his chest, he had amnesia and it took to the end of the book for them to figure out SPOILER ALERT that he's basically a metallic Frankenstein. ARGH.

I really didn't like this book. I finished it because it started out well enough and I got a little inane with the hope that it'd redeem itself in the end....but it didn't. It just fell into one bad plot trap after the next.

Happy reading!

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