The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret, #1)
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The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  821 ratings  ·  160 reviews
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...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Philomel
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I wasn't a fan of Andrea Cremer's Nightshade series, but I decided to read The Inventor's Secret because I absolutely loved its premise. An alternate history, steampunk novel that explores what if the British won the Revolutionary War? Count me in! The major problem with The Inventor's Secret is that Cremer focuses on an illogical romance and plot and never really lets the steampunk elements fully take off. So much of The Inventor's Se...more

This is an enjoyable and entertaining read, but, to me, it lacks depth.

This book is an alternate history story. It explores the idea of what America would be like if the British won the Revolutionary war. The British control the country from the Empire, which is located in NYC.
Our main character, Charlotte, is part of the resistance, living in underground catacombs. Teens live in these catacombs until they are old enough to join the adults in fighting the British control.

Along with this aw...more
I've never read Andrea Cremer before, and I'm not a particular fan of steampunk, so I was surprised to enjoy this book as much as I did. I'm a sucker for a good cast of characters, and I really enjoyed getting to know this group of allies. Cremer's world-building is also excellent. Despite a few info-dumping sections, she allows readers to decipher her world gradually and organically from the story. And what a fascinating world! Exploring what might have happened if the US lost the Revolutionary...more
The American Revolutionary War was a failure. British justice was swift and merciless. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte is the daughter of resistance fighters, hiding out with other children in a network of caves, safe until they are old enough to join the fight. When a new exile with no memory escapes from the floating city of New York, he brings with him a lot of questions and plenty of danger.

This alternative history steampunk novel had some really great world building. Boston is a penal colony whe...more
-potential light spoilers-

I was at the library when this little fellow caught my eye. "Hey!" it called from the "New Books" section. "Pick me! Pick me!" But I was determined to ignore it's pleas to be read.

But it was steampunk.
And it was third person (I'm sick of first person!)

"Oh, I'll just check it out. If it's bad, I can always laugh about it."

And I'm glad I did! It's far from perfect, but it's one of the better "New YA Fiction" I've read this year. Let me break it down for ya.


I received this as an ARC in a GoodReads giveaway. I was looking forward to reading this book, as I have enjoyed just about every other steampunk novel/short story anthology I have read in the past.

Unfortunately, this one was just not for me. I would classify this as chicklit steampunk, for the following reasons:

1. There is little action in the first 100 pages (I got to 106 before I abandoned it, which shows I tried, I really tried). The beginning seemed promising, but then it quickly morphed i...more
OMG, Andrea has done it again! I liked NIGHTSHADE, I loved RIFT and RISE, and I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Inventor's Secret! I started it on the airplane and I read, and read, and read, until I finished it. It was one of those books that I kept telling myself to SLOW DOWN because I wanted it to last longer but I couldn't stop turning the pages. The world-building was flawless, the steampunk aspects were fascinating, the romance was angsty and delicious (MILITARY PILOTS!), and the characters were wel...more
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Steampunk Pisces sub? Oh yeah! Flying steampunk dragonfly - even better! Loved the world building and the era setting. The revolution between America and Britain... toss it in favor for the Brits. Yet, we continue to fight. Now, I do realize this is modeled for the YA market, but I guess I am not one who usually goes all gooey for love interest angst, even worse, a love triangle (Jacky Faber aka Bloody Jack aside). Otherwise, I would have given this 4 stars.

Strong female roles along with no smal...more
C.J. Nestor
Picked up an ARC for free with a promise of review, so here we go:

I enjoyed it. The plotline is pretty typical YA fare, and if you're genre-conscious at all, you'll see everything coming half a mile away. What really works for it here, though, is the setting. Cremer's history background really comes through in creating a Steampunk America still under British control, and everything from the etiquette to the dress feels authentic. It really brings an air of authority to the entire proceeding.

If y...more
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Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Steampunk series from the I-think-she-has-a-PhD-in-history-and-even-if-she-doesn't-she's-a-freaking-legit-history-PROFESSOR Andrea Cremer? Oh I am there.
Jan 10, 2011 Lura marked it as to-read
If it's possible, I think I may be more excited about this novel than I am about Nightshade! ^_^
Amy Ariel
It was a good choice: Taking my first adventure into steampunk with Andrea Cremer former Macalester history professor whose research focused on the intersection of religion, gender, and violence in the British colonies. Here she asks what North American society might have looked like had the Revolution failed. The band of teenagers at the center of The Inventor's Secret are still resisting British rule in 1816 just after the Napoleonic Wars conclude in Europe. Well-paced and dramatically told, t...more
Vikki VanSickle
If you're in the mood for an engrossing steam-punk romp, this book is for you. Cremer creates an alternate universe in 18th century America with lots of weird, cool machinery. The novel begins with a great chase scene and we are introduced to a group of children, the offspring of the resistance, living in secret in a fantastic underground lair. Think Lost Boys from Peter Pan, only less bratty and with way more female characters. The story eventually shifts to a floating city- a great mix of Dick...more
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads, and I'm very glad.

Andrea Cremer takes readers on an action-packed adventure in 1800's North America. The Inventor's Secret is the first of a young adult steampunk series, and a very promising one at that.

16 year old Charlotte is the main character of the series, and is definitely an ideal heroine. Brave, caring, and modest, young Charlotte must face many adventures and unfortunately runs into trouble along the way. With a mysterious boy, love, and lots...more
Rachel Blom
A bit mixed feelings about this one, so here we go. I liked Charlotte as a main character, even if she did behave a bit too much like an adult at times. I can forgive that, considering the world the author created where kids pretty much fare for themselves. The tension and bickering between Charlotte and Jack was fun at first, but halfway through the book something changed in their relationship and the moment that dreaded love triangle with this brother started, I got irritated. Also, her brothe...more
Alice Of Wonderland
First of all, I should mention that this is an alternative timeline, a different world. The British lost the American Revolution, not won. But for purposes of this book, the British (lobsters!) won and they apparently dominate the world. There is a Resistance, but not many people know about it. Or so it seems. It is a bit hard when you are confined to one POV (Charlotte). So you got that so far? Nineteenth century steampunk plus a bunch of lobsters (remember the British soldiers' uniforms? They...more
Faith Dever
Will try to contain the headbanging to a minimum.
Disclaimer: Did not make it through the entire book....which is saying something because I truly enjoy steampunk. And I started out so hopefully too...

Liked: At least initially, the world. Yeah, I'm a sucker for Steampunk anything and this sounded like it had potential.
Grave- I'm sorry he's adorable and I liked him more than most of the other characters.
Lynette- How about a story with just Grave and Lynette?

Disliked: (These are just my persona...more
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You guys don't be fooled by the blurb/cover/everything.
This book is not a steampunk novel about kids living in secret and doing cool stuff. The mysterious new orphan- barely mentioned

This book reads like a bad Downton Abbey drama which just happens to have to have machines. It is full of badly thought out world building, and boring characters. The plot is basically this--

Charlotte:a outspoken,capable, beautiful(of course)backwoods girl who leaves to go see the big city. her outspoken ways and c...more
I was lucky enough to find this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy at the store where I work this last month. I have never had the chance to read anything by Andrea Cremer before nor have I ever read anything steampunk though the premise itself has always fascinated me. So has alternative history, though that I have at least had the chance to delve into before. Seeing the two aspects combined into one story was simply too much for me to pass up.

Unfortunately, because of how the cover was set up,...more
Step Into Fiction
The Steampunk genre has always scared me. It's always been a category that I've been hesitant to read. Probably because I usually liken it to historical fiction, and historical fiction isn't really my idea of a fun read. But recently I'd seen some photos of cosplayers in steampunk outfits and I really got intrigued. Then I remembered that I had picked up this book at New York Comic Con last year. Believe it or not, I've never read an Andrea Cremer book, even though I own 5 of her previous works....more
Kathy Martin
Andrea Cremer combines alternate history and steampunk in this exciting beginning to a new series. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte lives in the Catacombs with other children of rebels waiting to grow up and join their parents in the revolution. Because in this story, the American revolutionaries lost the fight and the Americas are under control of a repressive British Empire.

Charlotte gets a chance to visiting the glowing floating city of New York with her brother Ash, her friends Jack and Meg, and...more
Charlotte and her brother, Ashley, have always lived in the Catacombs with the other children of members of the Resistance. But Charlotte knows that her brother will be leaving soon, now that he's turning eighteen years old and is old enough to work in the frontlines of the Resistance. He'll be leaving along with Jack, a boy who returned with Ash back to the Catacombs one day and who has been a thorn in Charlotte's side ever since.

But then one day Charlotte returns with a refugee of her own, a...more
I’m pretty sure The Inventor’s Secret has one of the ugliest covers I’ve seen in a long time, and misleading, too. Because by all indication this should be a book with a slight steampunk feel, dabbling in alternate history, advanced mechanics and all that good stuff. But in fact this is a book about an unnecessary love triangle, dressing up for fancy balls, and a revolution that never actually seems to gain any steam, or maybe exist at all.

Having read a couple of things by Cremer, I’m not really...more
I was completely captivated by the world and characters in the Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer. Set in an alternate history – in the year 1816 – where the American Revolution failed and the British rule.
From the Author’s notes: “As the novel’s protagonists uncover nefarious secrets and confront violent tyranny of the Empire, they come to grips with the very questions that remain at the heart of American identity. What is the value of liberty? At what cost must it be won?”
This first book in a...more
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Hannah Cobb
Jun 13, 2014 Hannah Cobb added it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Charlotte and her brother live, Peter-Pan like, in a secret children-only haunt in the forest, where they collect scrap materials to craft weapons and prepare for the day when they will be old enough to join the revolution. Then Charlotte brings home a stray, and starts a chain of events that forces her to leave the safety of the hideout and masquerade as a society lady in this alternate-history, steampunk version of the 1800s.
Fans of alternate history (in this case, the Revolutionary War was ne...more
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Chapters Kingston...: The Inventor's Secret 2 13 Jun 18, 2014 11:23AM  
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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...more
More about Andrea Cremer...
Nightshade (Nightshade, #1) Wolfsbane (Nightshade, #2) Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3) Rift (Nightshade Prequel, #1) Invisibility

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