About the book: Trenton Colman is exceptionally creative 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, who 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 unlike 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.
My review: Oh. My. Goodness. This book is amazing!
I loved everything about this book. It is so well-written that you almost feel as though you are there with Trenton, Simoni, and Kallista. I loved the setting that J Scott Savage created for his characters to inhabit. They live in the city of Cove, it's built deep within a mountain to try to keep the evils of the creative world outside the mountain from getting in. The citizens of Cove are not allowed to create anything new, to them inventor is a bad word and anyone caught inventing anything is sent for retraining.
The problem is that most people are at least a little creative, and they like to think about how things can be made better. Trenton is one of those people. He's about to graduate from their public school system and start learning his trade, which he is sure will be mechanic, but he gets caught inventing a swing to impress the girl he likes and is arrested without question. Jeopardizing his whole career path. He's allowed one chance to redeem himself. He must crawl up a small tube and discover just what's jammed a conveyor belt. What he finds there will set his life on a course that will change everything for himself, his family and even the whole city of Cove.
The characters in this book are really well done as well. I liked Trenton and Simoni. But Kallista, well...at first I have to admit that I didn't like her at all. But once I was able to kind of get to know her a little bit, I could kind of understand why she was the way that she was. And she really did grow on me, by the end of the book, I was rooting for her.
I loved the plot. This is really a unique story that draws the reader in from the very first, it's written for kids 8-12, but I have to say that even adults will love it. I know from the ending that there must be more to Trenton and Kallista's story, I truly hope that it comes quickly!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the author: J Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.
Labels: J Scott Savage, middle grade book, Shadow Mountain Publishing