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.
Praise for THE INVENTOR'S SECRET
* "Cremer...creates an inventive blend of steampunk and alternative history in this new series. She gives readers a fantastical world with mechanical wonders and an opulent vintage setting. The characters are interesting and well developed. Readers will be drawn to future installments."--VOYA, starred review
"[A]n entertaining romp in a richly imaginative setting."--Kirkus Reviews
Setting her self-described steampunk novel in an alternate 1816 in which the American Revolution failed and an insurgent war against a brutal British regime persists, Cremer (the Nightshade series) subverts the genre's typical Victorian conventions with varying degrees of success. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte lives with her brother and other exiled children of Resistance fighters in the Wildlands outside the Floating City of New York. The appearance of an amnesiac boy with apparent ties to the city provides a reason for Charlotte to join an expedition to the glittering metropolis, affording Cremer opportunities to dress her heroine in silken finery and nurture a love triangle. Though a few inventions (e.g. the Floating City's Great Wheel) inspire wonder, much of the technology feels too advanced a mere 40 years post Declaration of Independence, distracting from the more intriguing political ramifications and cultural developments of this divergent timeline. Cremer handles the fantastical elements far better, hinting at rather than telegraphing the "secret" of the title. In revealing it, she sets herself up for a sequel that could be more cohesive than the series opener. Ages 12 up.