Mysteries of Cove Series by J. Scott Savage
Fires of Invention, Book 1
Summary from Goodreads:
Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.
Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.
Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.
Book Trailer for the first book.
Gears of Revolution, Book 2
Summary from Goodreads:
After finding a compass and clues left by Kallista’s father, Leo Babbage, Trenton and Kallista head west aboard their homemade mechanical dragon to search for the missing inventor. The two teenagers hope to find answers about their mountain city of Cove, but instead, they find only a blackened forest, ruined buildings, and a small underground city.
Almost immediately, Trenton and Kallista are caught up in a civil war between a clan of scavengers called Whipjacks and the Order of the Beast, people who believe that dragons are immortal and divine.
Stranded in a new city, the two friends meet Plucky, a Whipjack girl with mechanical legs, and Ander, a young member of the Order who claims humans are able to communicate with dragons. Can they trust anyone, or have they unknowingly stepped into a trap?
And high above in the sky, the dragons are gathering . . .
Steampunk and dragons, what could be more exciting? This was my thought as I made my way to the publisher’s booth at ALA last summer, to meet the author and get my ARC for book one. I loved the premiss of a mechanical steam driven dragon built by two teenagers, and I was very excited to read it. Book one did not disappoint. It was not as fast paced or as steampunkish as I thought it could be, but it was still a solid story with interesting characters. Trenton and Kallista are typical teens living in a society where creativity and innovation are outlawed. But even though they come from very different family situations and very different backgrounds, they find a way to work together to build the mechanical dragon that Kallista’s father had designed. And none to soon as the real truth behind why they live inside a mountain, comes knocking at the door.
Book two is slightly faster paced, with even more adventure and mysteries to solve. Most of the action in this book takes place in the city of Seattle, a half days journey by flying dragon, from the mountain where the teens had grown up. I spent some time reading this book trying to figure out if the mountain was Mt. Rainier or Mt. Hood. Not enough information to decide which, but I had fun trying. The teens make some new friends and some new enemies, and find Kallista’s father. They also once again have to save their city from their enemies both human and dragon. This second book ends with more questions and mysteries than when our heroes started on their quest.
Finally, even though the covers kind of give away the story in each book, I still think they are awesome. I’ve convinced many kids to try the first book, based solely on the cover. It will be an easier sell with the second book’s cover I think. I also have an easier time convincing students to try a series when I have more than one of the books to give the. I find that Tweens especially don’t like to wait for the sequel.