Monday, 4 August 2014

The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer


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.

This book was awful. Let's not beat around the bush.

There's no world building - all the way through the book we are expected to sympathise with these 'rebels', I'm guessing in order to feel that the main characters actually have a purpose in their aimless drifting around, and yet we have no idea what the rebels are rebelling against.

The main character is irritating, as are the side characters. There's even a hideous love triangle that is made even worse by the connections between the people involved. I'd say read it to find out, but I wouldn't want to put you through it.

There's not much else to say because there's not much that happens in this book.

1/5 stars.


  1. John Michael Cummings3 October 2014 at 19:51

    Dear Astrid the Bookworm:

    Will you please consider reviewing my new novel, DON’T FORGET ME, BRO (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, Dec. 2014)?

    DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families, but it’s not dreary or depressing. Please see synopsis below.

    I have been writing fiction for thirty years.

    My debut novel THE NIGHT I FREED JOHN BROWN (Philomel Books, Penguin
    Group, 2009) won The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and was one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY for Black History month. For more info:

    My short story collection, UGLY TO START WITH (West Virginia University Press), was hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a work of “sharp observation and surpassing grace.” Here’s a link to some information about my collection:

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    But DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is my best!

    It's cleanly written and briskly plotted. It's a quick, fabulous read, a literary page-turner.

    Kirkus Reviews says: "Read this book for the vivid imagery and sharp dialogue. Read it for the spot-on characterizations..."

    If you email me at, I will send you a new digital .pdf of my novel from the publisher. It's a clear, bold text.

    I will also send you an advance review by Pauline Finch, along with a list of authors who've blurbed my novel so far and what they have said.

    I look forward to hearing back from you. Again, my email is

    Thank you very much.


    John Michael Cummings

    Don’t Forget Me, Bro

    John Michael Cummings

    Stephen F. Austin State University Press

    Cost: $18.00

    Format: paperback

    ISBN: 978-1-62288-078-2

    229 pages

    Distribution arrangements: Ingram and Baker & Taylor

    Synopsis of DON’T FORGET ME, BRO

    DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families. The book opens with the main character, forty-two-year-old Mark Barr, who has returned home from New York to West Virginia after eleven years for his older brother Steve’s funeral. Steve, having died of a heart attack at forty-five, was mentally ill most of his adult life, though Mark has always questioned what was "mentally ill" and what was the result of their father’s verbal and physical abuse during their childhood.

    The book unfolds into an odyssey for Mark to discover love for his brother posthumously in a loveless family.

    DON’T FORGET ME, BRO is a portrait of an oldest brother’s supposed mental illness and unfulfilled life, as well as a redeeming tale of a youngest brother’s alienation from his family and his guilt for abandoning them.

    - end -

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