MYSTERIES OF COVE: FIRES OF INVENTION for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I’ve come across a few kids, mostly boys, who will read nothing but non-fiction. They have a passion for finding out how things work and are constantly ‘fiddling’ around with whatever object is close by. 51mBm3beYAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Maybe this first book in the new MYSTERIES OF COVE trilogy will provide a fiction outlet for their way of thinking. That’s a mechanical dragon on the cover created by two of the main characters in this tale, Trenton and Kallista,

There’s not only a dragon, but Cove is a city built within a mountain when technology destroys the outside world. Life inside forbids creativity or invention since that is what chased them into this new environment to begin with. It’s the future, but the inhabitants of Cove survive by incorporating technology born out of the 1800’s. It’s safer that way.

Enter our young teen heroes and they will stop at nothing to uncover the secrets of Cove set into motion over 100 years in the past. And that means secretly building that dragon. The adventure is fast paced and you will be visualizing this new society as the levels inside the mountain come alive.

Enjoy the ride on this one now so you’ll be ready for the book two where the world outside the Cove will be explored.

PUBLICATION DATE: September 29, 2015   PAGE COUNT: 288    

FULL PLOT (From Amazon): 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 unlikely 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.


  1. It’s rather uncomfortably amusing as Trenton struggles to understand how to talk to girls. He’s so much better at communicating by building things and never knows what to say. Boys nearing that age will immediately understand his frustration.
  2. The ending is one of those endings where you just say “Wow! I like where this is going.” The first story is nicely connected with what is set to happen in the next book.
  3. Trenton and Kallista are different in so many ways, but their love of fixing things brings them closer together. A great pairing of these two as their characters are so well defined. Their interactions are a joy to follow.
  4. Much to be learned with the themes of censorship, oppressive government, and technology influence. It would make for a great classroom discussion with other real societies in our own world’s history.
  5. There’s nothing predictable in this story. I tried many times to guess what would happen next and never did connect with perfection. That alone will keep readers glued.


He clenched his hands in his hair. His mother. This would kill her. How many times had she warned him that tinkering would get him into trouble? How many times had she made him sit at the table, writing line after line: We are all gears and cogs in a magnificent machine. When we do our part as it has been prescribed, the machine runs smoothly. When we do things differently, society suffers.


One of my favorite experiences is having a boy or girl tell me that my books are the reason they learned a love for reading. .” From J. Scott Savage’s web site.


Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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17 Responses to MYSTERIES OF COVE: FIRES OF INVENTION for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I’ve heard of this and you make it sound really good.

  2. msyingling says:

    The author is coming to Columbus soon, and to one of our elementary schools. I’ll have to check my book order to make sure this is on its way!

  3. diegosdragon says:

    Good for them for writing this line – “We are all gears and cogs in a magnificent machine. When we do our part as it has been prescribed, the machine runs smoothly. When we do things differently, society suffers.”

    I really believe that, the force, universal spirit that binds all living things, they absolutely got it right!

  4. Joanne Fritz says:

    I like books that aren’t predictable. This sounds like an interesting mix of steampunk and dystopia.

  5. Dorine White says:

    I loved this book too. Great review.

  6. cleemckenzie says:

    More and more gears and cogs are coming into print it seems. Building a dragon sounds very exciting.

  7. This really does sound perfect for the gear heads in your classes. Thanks for the review. I hadn’t seen this before.

  8. I haven’t been keeping up with the MMGM crowd, and I see I’ve missed several great books you’ve reviewed. And I love the new look for your blog! (Am I right that you’ve updated? Or have I just been away for so long that everything looks new to me?!)

    I like the premise of this one, and there hasn’t been a lot of middle-grade steampunk. Sounds fun!

  9. Greg,

    Thanks so much for your review. This was a fun one to right. I’m just finishing book two, which includes things like blimps, catapults, and steampunk jousting. 🙂

  10. Confession…I’m pretty sure I picked this one up sometime in the past, and set it down because I’m (just slightly) claustrophobic and don’t enjoy books set underground. That said, I LOVE unpredictable books, so I think this one’s going back on my list. 🙂

  11. Pingback: This week’s round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs (9/27/15) « Teens Update

  12. Pingback: Favorite Middle Grade Reading Moments 2015 & a Giveaway – Always in the Middle

  13. Pingback: MYSTERIES OF COVE: GEARS OF REVOLUTION for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday | Always in the Middle…

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