Author: Andrea Cremer
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Razorbill Canada for this ARC!
This is my first foray into Andrea Cremer’s work and it was an interesting experience.The Investor’s Secret has a great premise, but considering it’s supposed to be an alternative history, I wanted a bit more for that side of this story. The book took me a good while to get into, as it starts out great, fizzles, and then picks up its pace again. Steampunk novels usually suck me right into their world, but this cast of characters I had a hard time rooting for.
I think the story is pretty fun for the most part, but it drags in spots making it a challenging to devour. There’s a great positive attitude and strength within the ensemble cast, and one that gets surprisingly infectious during some of the action sequences. I don’t know if I can say I loved the characters, truthfully, because I found they started to blur (other than Charlotte). Another thing I kinda wished is that this book had been written in first and not third because most of the story really is about Charlotte and it would have been nice to be in her mind for some of the more critical moments in the story.
This is a tough book to review because I see the appeal and in the end I just “liked” it. I struggled with parts of it, I never was a book I wanted to instantly keep reading and I was able to put it aside with ease. That said there is aspects to like about this book and if Cremer is turning this in a series, parts of me are curious as to where it will go. I just wish the writing had felt more compelling to make me want to devour the book as soon as I started it.