Publisher's Note:  

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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Shadow Mountain

Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention

by J. Scott Savage

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Overall Review:  

All his life Trenton has been told to work hard and not try and change things; to be a "good gear in the magnificent machine" that is COVE.  Creativity and Invention are dangerous and a hazard to society.  The problem is that, try as he might, Trenton can't help but find creative ways to improve on the machines that he loves. Then he meets Kallista, the daughter of an "inventor".  With her help he learns that he can use his creativity to do amazing things, but they also learn a dangerous secret that could change the world as they know it.

The main character, Trenton, is a young man that the reader not only relates to but cannot help but like.  He is a loyal friend, even when conflicted about his actions, and he is truly making an earnest effort to be a "good gear".  The forced suppression of his passion for all things mechanical tugs at the reader's heartstrings and draws them until fully invested in his and Kallista's mission.

In Mysteries of Cove, J. Scott Savage does a masterful job of weaving the believable and unique society for this coming of age story.  The post-apocalyptic, totalitarian society provides the perfect backdrop for Trenton's journey from child to young adult.  And, while the political commentary the story is laced with will probably go over the heads of most young readers, it provides a welcome added substance to the story which makes it appealing for older readers as well.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Adolescent worries about being crushed by machinery; adolescent teases another adolescent that they will injure themselves; several references to an accident leaves an adult partially paralyzed; several instances of an adolescent being warned when working on potential dangerous machines; adolescent drops a rock on his leg; adolescent gets caught on running machine; adolescent hits his head on cave wall; adolescent hits head; adolescent gets in a fight with another adolescent; adolescent threatens to kill another adolescent a few times; several references to an adult dying in an explosion; two adolescents fall into a tank; adolescents worry about being sucked into exhaust fans; adolescent jokes about dive bombing an adult; many vague references to those possessing information being in danger; adolescents injured when crashing an invention; adolescents worry about an invention's potential to explode; adolescent lists injuries after accident; references to mass casualties in an unknown incident, speculations of war; adult punches adolescent; adolescent threatens another adolescent with a wrench; a creature attacks the city, casualties implied; adult is eaten by a mythical creature; extended battle scene.

Sex/Nudity:  A few instances of adolescents holding hands; adolescent kisses another adolescent on the cheek.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, war, social conflict, disability, coming of age, illegal activity.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  



Reviewed By Amberle
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