Book Review

“Cove: Fires” Up

Sorry, I’ve been slacking in life lately, but it’s Not because I’ve been too busy catching Pokemon (though I did start that this weekend). 😉

**** 3.6 Stars***

“Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention,” by J. Scott Savage is a middle grade book, and feels like one.  It’s a classic distopia with a flair of steampunk, and it takes the idea of “Atlas Shrugged” in a new direction.  Cove is a distopian city within a mountain where inventions are illegal and creativity is discouraged.  It’s a little strange to imagine because the entire city runs on gears, cogs, and coal.  Readers see the perspective from Trenton, who is 13 and has a knack for machinery, which gets him in trouble with his mom and the city.  There’s even a touch of a love triangle, though the characters don’t dwell on it.  They are older tweens, after all. 😛  It’s an interesting story, and it has a nice exploration of setting and character conflict, though the plot can seem too coincidental and predictable at times.  (Then again, it’s written for middle schoolers, not college graduates). 😛

Funny enough, my biggest qualm with this book is the fact that it spoils itself.  As you can see on the cover and at the beginning of every chapter, they make a mechanical dragon.  But the characters don’t know what they’re building until half way through the book.  So the real wonder for the reader becomes “how on earth can they make a life-size fire-breathing dragon in an enclosed city where people are punished for putting two things together in a new way?”  And thankfully, it’s not the only surprise. 😉

I’m interested enough to look into the second book, “Gears of Revolution,” (released Sept. 2016).   ****3.6 stars***

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