Tuesday, September 29, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Fires of Invention [blog tour review]


Fires of Invention (Mysteries of Cover, 1) by J. Scott Savage, September 15, 2015. 370 pages. Published by Shadow Mountain. Source: publisher.
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.
First Sentence:
This was going to be the best thing Trenton had ever built-assuming he could finish it assembling it without getting crushed.


While I really enjoyed The Fires of Invention, I may have read it at the wrong time. After coming off of reading a book that blew me away and left me unable to read for days, I should have thrown a light reread in-between it and this one. Because while I really enjoyed it and found it to be quite interesting, it just didn't leave as big of an impact as it probably would have...if it hadn't chased a book hangover inducing read.

Don't get me wrong, there were many things I enjoyed about The Fires of Invention-like the mystery of why they were living in a mountain and why inventing was forbidden. Really, the depth of the mystery surrounding Cove and their origins was what kept me reading. It was interesting to theorize why things like creativity were outlawed and punishable with retraining (pretty sure it's as bad as it sounds). Even though it took ages to unfold the truth behind Cover and their rules, I thought the reveal was really good and it was pretty much inline with what I had guessed...with one minor/major exception.

One of the things that I enjoyed most, other than the secrets being closely guarded, was the friendship that started between Trenton and Kallista. I thought it pretty interesting to see it bloom because of something that brought them together and their mutual love for mechanics. While they may have got off to a rocky start, I really enjoyed how even through rough times that kept moving forward trying to answer the questions that Kallista's father left behind through the clues they found. It was interesting to see how one small, okay it was actually pretty huge, moment changed the course of their lives and made them question everything they had previously been led to believe.

Okay, so, the first seventy-five pages were somewhat slow going for me. I felt that it took forever for things to take off when you just knew everything was not quite right with the workings of Cove. Could the main plot points have been reached sooner, possibly. Would I have been happier if things had happened at a quicker rate, absolutely. Even so, Fires of Invention was an interesting read that, in the end, left me satisfied because the final reveals were to, put it mildly, very, very interesting and well worth the build up.

Final Verdict: Fires of Invention- A well thought out mystery with a twist that is completely unexpected. Definitely an interesting read if you're looking for something just a little bit different.

Fires of Invention earns
This book was received in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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