April 30, 2014

Review: The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer


Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.

add to goodreadsThe Inventor’s Secret (The Inventor’s Secret #1)
by Andrea Cremer
Publication Date:  April 22, 2014
Publisher:  Philomel

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions  **

Gabby-2013I’ve been a big fan of Andrea Cremer ever since I started reading her Nightshade series and her co-written novel Invisibility. Both were amazing and so I was excited to get reading The Inventor’s Secret. While I have never been very interested in the steampunk genre I knew that this would have to be something good considering who the author is. The Inventor’s Secret was not what I expected it to be but it was still a thrilling, imaginative read.

The story revolves around sixteen-year-old Charlotte who has been hiding inside of the Catacombs on the edge of the industrial empire in Britain after they won the Revolutionary war. Preparing to join the Resistance, the very last thing that Charlotte expects is to come across a boy with no memory of who is he is where he’s from and save his life. Taking him into the Catacombs, the boy tells them that only bad things and a dark future are fast approaching. With that information, Charlotte, her brother Ash, Jack and a few of her other friends, travel into the city to search for answers. Only Charlotte doesn’t expect their journey to be so dangerous or for romance to bloom on her journey.

As always with Andrea Cremer, the thing that made me love reading The Inventor’s Secret was Cremer’s writing. There’s a perfect combination of details and flow that made reading the novel go by surprisingly fast. I really liked the way we got to see Charlotte’s situation and the people around her in the story through the way that it was written. Every chapter was easy to visualize in my head while reading, kind of like it was a movie that just kept on going. That was one of the things that was very well done.

What makes this novel work is the characters and the world-building. I had very little confusion as to what was happening and where the characters were and this steampunk Britain (or Britannia) was pretty awesome. Back on the topic of characters, Ash, Jack and Charlotte were three characters who grow a lot throughout the story and I mean Jack was pretty hot.  There is a romance aspect of the novel and I want to say right now that Jack was my favorite. All of his little comments and his mysterious background just made him so overly perfect and the romance between him and Charlotte was very sweet.

Still, I do wish that there was more action involved in the plot. After Charlotte finds Grave at the start of the novel everything for the next hundred pages was very slow. Charlotte ends up sneaking into high society Britannia to get some answers and from then on the novel is mostly her trying not to get caught while also evolving her relationship with Jack while also unravelling the mystery of who Graves is and where he came from. In the end there still are a lot of plot holes and unanswered questions and I hope that in the next novel we get to find out some more and get some more action thrown at us.

As a reader who doesn’t go through much steampunk I thought that The Inventor’s Secret was pretty good and that any readers who are interested in the genre would genuinely enjoy The Inventor’s Secret. I would recommend the novel to people who enjoy the genre, readers who want a novel that focuses on a world where Britain won the revolutionary war and to any readers who also want to experience a male lead like Jack.



Andrea Cremer is the author of the internationally bestselling Nightshade series. She spent her childhood daydreaming and roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin.

Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. Before she wrote her first novel, Andrea was a history professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her books, she strives to bring together her two passions: history and fantasy. Andrea now lives in New York and writes full time.

To contact Andrea, please visit,

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Brooke

    I’ve been worried about this book. I haven’t been thrilled with the newest additions to her other series. I thought it should have ended at the third Nightshade, but I guess readers demanded more. I do love her writing, though. So I’m sure I’ll pick it up at some point. Great review!

  2. Bookluvr Mindy

    I just read this one and LOVED it! My review is going up early next week.

    I agree! I love Andrea’s writing and she created this world beautifully!

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