Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris

The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris
Series: Cragbridge Hall #1
Published by Shadow Mountain
Pages: 336
Genre: Sci-Fi (MG)
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The year is 2074. School has changed drastically: zoology is taught by becoming one with the animals through use of an avatar, history is a truly visual class, events of history playing out as though you are there. All these advancements are thanks to Oscar Cragbridge - founder of the school, Cragbridge Hall. However when he and his son and daughter-in-law mysteriously go missing, it is up to two young students, his grandchildren, to save the day. And possibly the world as they know it.

The history classroom looked normal - except for the full-sized pirate ship emerging from the front wall.

I really don't read many books like I used to. You'd probably be surprised to find out that when I was younger, I read almost exclusively mysteries. I didn't like weird stuff. So, please bear that in mind with my next words.

I wish I could have read this book when I was twelve - with the stipulation that I like it even half as much as I do now. This book is so imaginative and just a wonderfully brilliant take on the earth's future. I am actually very envious of these students because while I did love school when I was younger, this school is almost like a well structured adventure park. (And, there is a mystery here. Part of it was pretty obvious, but the other part took me by complete surprise.)

Abby and Derik - the grandchildren of brilliant scientist (and slightly crazy old man) Oscar Cragbridge - are such fun. While the story  focuses on Abby a bit more, they each have their own issues to overcome in this book, turning out all the stronger for these problems. And the secondary characters were great - especially the young friends. Something that will probably impress older readers more than younger ones (though maybe not...) is how the adults - for example, the teachers and the parents - don't disregard the children. Some try to help and some try to hinder, but they don't treat the kids like they cannot do anything.

Also, the kids themselves didn't try to keep everything from the adults for no good reason. They didn't know who they could trust, but they certainly worked together - which is something I love seeing in books.

I could start going on now about how much I loved the world - but that would make the review painfully long because I loved pretty much everything about the setting. One special thing I'd like to note however, is how I love that this is moderately near-earth sci-fi (though I really am more of a space opera kind of girl) but that it is not dystopian. I adore the technology that has been created and think that it is just brilliant.