Parents' Guide to

The Inventor's Secret

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Nasty Brits rule 1816 New York in clever steampunk twist.

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Fans of steampunk know already: It's a big sci-fi party of wild inventions and giant dirigibles. Yes, there's a dirigible. With fancy rooms and strange suction-style elevators. Cool. THE INVENTOR'S SECRET also makes New York City one big crazy invention with floating platforms, one for each caste. Readers will long for a map of the city, but alas. Maybe the sequel will have one. While they're at it, how about some drawings of the inventions and the Pisces submersible?

Oh yeah, there's the story, too. It's easy to get sidetracked, and The Inventor's Secret does, when Charlotte reaches the city and figures out she has strong feelings for Jack. The long romantic aside is worth it, but what happened to the rebellion? Readers don't get to see anything beyond Ashley and Jack rushing off in secret. A hint of what they're planning would be nice, but the cliffhanger at the end will do the trick of drawing readers to the next in the series.

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