Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage
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.
Trenton and Kallista hunt for clues and slowly assemble Leo Babbage’s invention. Meanwhile, Trenton tries to hide his secret life from his friends and family. Trenton is a genius with machinery, but a bit dense with his relationship with girls. Kallista has a brusque and standoffish personality. She’s not really likeable at all. You feel bad for her home life and past, but it’s obvious why she doesn’t have any other friends.
Fires of Invention is the first in an exciting new scifi/fantasy series for middle readers. The world is fascinating and inspired. The mystery behind Cove is well worth the wait and completely unpredictable. The story is evenly paced, as suspense builds the longer it takes Trenton and Kallista to build the machine. And the finale is thrilling and captivating. I look forward to the next in this series.