*This Review is Spoiler Free*
I received an Advance Reader Copy of Fires of Invention back in 2015 at BookCon in New York City. Savage was in attendance, and doing an author signing of his soon to be released (at the time) novel and of his previous works. I had never read anything by this author before reading this novel in 2015 and went into reading it with no expectations. The story follows thirteen-year-old Trenton Coleman as he navigates life in the City of Cove. In Cove, creativity of any kind is illegal and the City is structured in order to highlight the dangers of creativity. Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to Kallista Babbage, a girl whose father was a “creative type” that passed away in an explosion. Trenton and Kallista end up working together to build a machine after finding blueprints that it seems Kallista’s father, Leo Babbage, was working on before his death.
This novel is an incredibly interesting and thoughtful read. The author is able to keep the reader engaged throughout the entire novel. The novel did not lag in any areas and was fairly consistent throughout. There were some pacing issues in certain parts of the novel in regards to certain plot points and events not having been fleshed out and explored as much as they could have been. I did read an ARC of the story and the final, published novel may not have contained those issues.
Overall, I give Fires of Invention a rating of 7.5 Unicorn Horns out of 10. The author accomplished what they set out to do in this novel. All the major plot points were well executed, the characters were dynamic and well thought out, the intrigue and mystery of Cove built organically and did not feel force-fed, and the story was complex and layered. This is a novel that I would recommend to ANYONE! The novel can easily be enjoyed by adult readers who do not tend to read middle grade fiction. And of course I would suggest that anyone within the target age range that is interested in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian and/or Steampunk to give this novel a read.