Thursday, September 15, 2016

MG Fantasy: Gears of Revolution (Mysteries of Cove #2) by J. Scott Savage

Gears of Revolution: Mysteries of Cove#2 by J. Scott Savage
Hardcover  352 pages
Publishing:  September 20th, 2016 
by Shadow Mountain 
Genres: MG Fantasy 
Source:  In exchange for an honest review, an  EARC was received from the publisher for free via Netgalley

To really do this review justice, I need to back track and give a bit of information from the first book. Trenton is this kid who lives in Cove, a city that for about 150 years was essentially hiding inside of a mountain. Every part of life at Cove was controlled and the creating or making of new things was strictly forbidden. Now for Trenton this was near to impossible, he was just wired to ask “what if?”   By the end of the book, Trenton had teamed up with Kallista, who's the daughter of famous inventor Leo Babbage, the man who was the main reason the city abandoned inventions and creativity in the first place. Together, Trenton and Kallista followed clues to locate parts Leo Babbage left scattered across the city, assembled a massive mechanical dragon (Landon), and prevented the destruction of Cove.  At the end of the story, Kallista found a cryptic message and compass, so Trenton and Kallista make plans to try and find her father.  

Which leads us into book two, Gears of Revolution. Trenton and Kallista begin their journey to try to find Kallista's father.  What they encounter instead are a lot of dragons and also  end up getting shot out of the air by a group calling themselves the “Whipjacks,” being lead by someone who calls himself the “Dimber Damber” (Cochrane). The duo find the city of “Seattle,” a place that is very different from their home.  The Whipjacks are the group keeping Seattle running, they are in charge of operating everything mechanical. They also are developing new machines, my favorite being the horsecycle, part motorcycle/jousting machine.   In Seattle,  there is another group wearing red robes called The Order of the Beast, who don't see dragons as monsters, but rather as things to be revered. The Order has been working with the dragons to keep the city secure, in exchange for offering them food. Seeing as the Order think so highly of the dragons, Trenton and Kallista hide the fact that they've killed one back in Cove. Seeing potential in the duo, Cochrane convinces the Order that rather than killing Trenton and Kallista, they should take advantage of their mechanical skills and the two begin working for him.  But, Trenton and Kallista also find out that Cochrane has much more planned for them and that Seattle may be gearing itself up for a war.

I really liked how Cove, which is actually Discovery, is very different from Seattle.  Discovery kept itself hidden and safe from the dragons for a very long time.  It had an established system built on cooperation that allowed them to use existing technology to make their own food, to have crops, and essentially life was fairly good.  Whereas, Seattle made packs with the dragons and the people had to scavenge for food,  everyone had to fend for themselves.   Trenton seemed to really understand the differences between the two cities and tried to get both cities to come together against the dragons. He foresaw the dangers approaching.  It's a really interesting plot with lots of different dynamics at work at the same time, I think it's why the pacing slowed down a bit, lots of things to keep straight.   There was also  still the mystery of where the dragons came from lingering in the background too.  In Gears of Revolution, the relationship between Trenton and Kallista also changes.    At first, they were working hard together just to keep Landon in the air, but once they are in Seattle, Kallista begins to become more evasive and is hiding out in the library researching her father's messages.  I missed seeing the two of them building together, but the new city and  addition of Plucky (a Whipjack girl) kept things interesting.  Like in the first book, Gears has all of these really cool steampunk elements with this book delving into chemistry, electricity, the making of gunpowder, hydrogen and aerodynamics of flying.  Plus in the end, there is this really cool sounding airship.  So yeah, dragons, steampunk, whole new city and still leaves me with wanting to see where things will go next.    

Favorite passage:  "He said to give yourself permission to fail."  "That's real encouraging."  "It actually is, she said, ignoring his sarcasm."  "Because if you only try the things you believe you can do, you'll only accomplish the things you already knew you could do.  But if you give yourself permission to fail, you're free to try the things that seem completely beyond your reach.  And that's when magic happens."  


  1. That is a fabulous quote. Now I totally want to read this book and series. :) Great review!

    1. Hope you do, this is a really fun steampunkish fantasy!