Inventor's Secret Series, Book 1
Description (taken from Andrea Cremer's website):
In this world, 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 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. Perfect for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners, Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, ScottWesterfeld’s Leviathan and Phillip Reeve’s Mortal Instruments.
What do you think our world would look like if America had not won its independence from the British? Better yet, what do you think our past would look like? Now add a bit of steampunk flavor, and we enter this book's setting. (Sidenote: Our is definitely referencing American; I realize not everyone is American, but I still wanted to include everyone with our.)
Charlotte is the daughter of revolutionaries and stays hidden in the wilderness with a bunch of other kids. But when given the opportunity to aide in the fight against the British empire, Charlotte ends up in New York: a city in the sky. Set in the eighteen hundreds, there are many new steam inventions as well as the old and expected. But some of these inventions could threaten the plan to overthrow the oppressive government. And Charlotte just happens to be in the middle of it with a couple of cute brothers (of course).
Honestly, I finished this book almost a week ago, and I feel blasé about it. Seeing the steampunk world and our British past warped into a controlling war machine was interesting. But as far as what the inventor's secret was? To me, it was never a secret because I thought it a little too obvious. Yes, the story was good and it did pick up. But then things settled down for the ending. So I guess this was a good beginner book to a series.
Sadly, due to my nonchalant attitude, I'm not certain I'll pick up the next book in this series. However, I do think this a cute series that young ones looking for a good steampunk read would find fun. And it has some good world-building.