Book Review of Fires of Invention, by J. Scott Savage
Published by Shadow Mountain Publishing in 2015
Although Cove, the Fires of Invention, by J. Scott Savage is a young adult book, I really enjoyed it. As anyone who has read a few of my reviews knows, I tend to get a little overloaded and burnt out by how many YA books I receive. They usually aren’t my first picks, but I try to put them into my reading rotation like most other things. Hey I just reviewed a presence tense novel and that says something. This novel was so exciting and well written that it didn’t bother me that I was following a twelve year old around.
Trenton is a young boy living in an underground city that was built to escape from the horrors of a world polluted by machines. The society is very strict and has banned inventing, art, and most creativity. This is hard on Trenton because he yearns to tinker and invent new machines, but to do so could have him end up in their version of jail or worse.
His world crumbles when he is assigned to be a farmer instead of a mechanic, but at the same time he meets the young daughter of dead inventor. Together they start to plunge themselves into the clues left by her father. They are forced to uncover mystery after mystery, which not only takes them steps closer to completing the machine the father had designed, but also reveals the truth about Cove and the people that rule their underground city.
The mystery is complex as is the world Trenton lives in. I cannot say much more or I would be ruining the book. Just like for Trenton, some things need to be discovered on your own. Savage not only sets up the world of Cove, but plunges the reader into it. You follow Trenton into every part of the place and more, a great world and done well.
I should also mention that this book has a strong Steampunk aspect running through the whole thing. I would say it is more Steampunk than anything else, but has a dash of dystopian, science fiction, and even a little fantasy tossed in.
I enjoyed this book and cannot see to many downsides. I think young kids would like it even more than I did. Trenton is pretty amazing for a twelve year old. That is cool for the reader, but perhaps he should have been a little older to be able to pull of all the feats he makes happen in this novel.
One of the best YA books I have read over the past few years. It would be great for kids and for any parents reading this, there are no inappropriate scenes or nasty violence in this one. Very safe for the kids. I would read another of these books if one comes out. The author set things up for a chance of a second book and I for one hope to see it be published.