[Book Review] Mysteries of Cove: Embers of Destruction (Book 3)

Mysteries of Cove: 
Embers of Destruction (Book #3)
by
J. Scott Savage

Blurb:
“After the battle of Seattle, Trenton and Kallista–along with their friends, Plucky, Simoni, Angus, and Clyde–fly their mechanical dragons south toward San Francisco, looking for any sign of Kallista’s father, Leo Babbage. Arriving in a new city, the young riders investigate the area in secret, only to be reunited with Leo Babbage, who reveals that the humans in the city are working as slaves to the dragons. What’s more, the humans don’t want to be rescued–himself included. He says they are being protected by their new master: a huge, powerful white dragon who lives in an impenetrable tower fortress overlooking the city. Kallista is stunned by the news. Why would her father ever willingly work for dragons? With the white dragon watching their every move, Trenton and Kallista will need every bit of creativity and ingenuity they can manage to find a way to enter the dragon’s tower fortress and break its hold over the city–and the world–once and for all.”
My Review:
This has been such a fun series to read! My boys both got to this book before I did (they’re now 16 and 14), and they loved it. I enjoyed it too, which I love because then we can talk about it together. We have our own in-house book group going on! Love it! Trenton is just such a great kid (and character). I love his humility, his creativity, and his ability to think and act appropriately under pressure. He has his flaws, he’s not perfect, but that’s one thing I like about his character. Kallista is a great character as well. She’s a little more complex than Trenton is, and may be strong-willed, but I love her ingenuity, her work ethic, and I love that she’s a strong female character. The descriptions in this book are very good. I loved reading all about the different dragons, especially the white one; you could just feel the evil dripping out of him! I love that the kids need to use their brains and skills, and that it’s difficult, but they are determined and work hard. Some of those qualities are hard to find in kids these days, so it’s a great example of what working hard and being smart can get you! This book is very well written, it’s engaging, and I couldn’t put it down! There are a few surprises, and a bunch of new characters. It’s a great ending to a very fun trilogy. At our house we are sad that this is the last book in the series. I highly recommend this book and series for middle-graders and YA.
Rating: PG+ (I marked this one a little higher than I did the other two because there is quite a bit of fighting (they’re fighting dragons, mostly), and a character dies in this one. There is no profanity or “intimacy.”
Recommendation: 3rd grade and up! (Middle Graders and Young Adults)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Mysteries of Cove Trilogy:
Book One Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott SavageBook Three Mysteries of Cove: Embers of Destruction by J. Scott SavageBook Two Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution by J. Scott Savage

      Book #1                                                       Book #2                                           Book #3
Also by J. Scott Savage:
Far World: Air Keep Book 3 by J. Scott Savage   Far World: Water Keep Book 1 by J. Scott Savage   Far World: Land Keep Book 2 by J. Scott Savage
                                  Book #1                       Book #2                      Book #3

[Book Review] Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution (Book #2) by J. Scott Savage

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

Blurb:
“After finding a compass and clues left by Kallista’s father, Leo Babbage, Trenton and Kalista head west aboard their homemade mechanical dragon to search for the missing inventor. The teenagers hope to find answers about their mountain city of Cove, but instead, they find only a blackened forest, ruined buildings, and a small underground city. Almost immediately, Trenton and Kallista are caught up in a civil war between a clan of scavengers called Whipjacks and the Order of the Beast, people who believe that dragons are immortal and divine. Stranded in a new city, the two friends meet Plucky, a Whipjack girl with mechanical legs, and Ander, a young member of the Order who claims humans are able to communicate with dragons. Can they trust anyone, or have they unknowingly stepped into a trap? And high above in the sky, the dragons are gathering…”

My Review:

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention, so I was excited to read this second book. It did not disappoint! Trenton and Kallista may have been the same, there was that same feeling of searching for answers, and yes, the mechanical dragon is there too, but other than that, this book is very different from the first one. I liked that we really got to know Trenton in this book. We get to see his strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures, and we get to see him using his creative/mechanical abilities. There are a few new characters in this book that we get to know quite well. Plucky, Ander, and Cochrane are a few of the new characters. These new characters definitely have different names! There is a lot of tension in this book because Trenton and Kallista are constantly wondering who they can trust, and they’re somewhat at odds with each other as well. There are some surprises in this book that totally threw me off, and then there were parts that were a bit predictable. I loved it when Trenton and Kallista were able to fly the mechanical dragon together. What a neat thing for them to be able to experience. Too bad there’s not a “Build a Mechanical Dragon That Flies” kit I could purchase my boys for Christmas! Overall, this book is well written. There were a few parts that I saw as a little superficial, and a couple of places that I didn’t think fit well, but other than that this book is well done. The characters are done well and the story is exciting and full of action. I didn’t love the place where they found themselves, I thought it was a bit off, but because I enjoyed the first book I’ll give it some leeway. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the first book.

This book is clean, thank goodness! There isn’t any profanity and there isn’t any “intimacy” at all. There is some violence though. The people are attacked by dragons and at least one character dies.

Rating: PG (There isn’t any profanity or “intimacy.” There is a little more violence in this book, but it is not too bad. The dragons attack and at least one character dies.)

Recommendation: Third grade and up. (Great for Middle Graders and YA)

*This post was originally posted on 10/24/16, and was updated on 11/3/17.

Mysteries of Cove Trilogy:


Mysteries of Cove: Embers of Destruction Book 3 by J. Scott Savage
Book #3


Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention Book 1 by J. Scott Savage
Book #1

Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution Book 2 by J. Scott Savage
Book #2

[Book Review] Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention (Book #1) by J. Scott Savage

Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention (Book #1)
 by 
J. Scott Savage

Blurb:
“Trenton Coleman 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 build 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, who 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 unlike 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 lives”

My Review:

What a fun book! This story just comes to life on the pages. The characters are well developed and really great. I especially liked Trenton, Kallista, and Simoni. Trenton is the main character, and I feel so bad for him! He doesn’t end up where he wants to end up, job-wise, and he feels like he’s been betrayed and like he is missing a huge part of himself. However, he finds ways to use his……gasp! creativity (creativity is frowned upon in this story), and he might even make an…..gasp! invention or two (the word “invention” is considered profanity in Cove). He’s a very likable character who is easy to relate to. He may make me nervous in some situations, because I’m definitely a rule-follower, but he has a cute personality and reminds you of your best friend growing up. Simoni is a cute character as well. She is more like me, a rule-follower, but she is a cute character. Kallista is a little more on the wild side, you may say. She is a bit of a rebel and is…..don’t say it! creative. She may bring out a different side of Trenton, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. She is smart and thinks outside of the box, or mountain, in this case. The story line is fun and adventurous, and has enough action to satisfy the boys and enough girly stuff to capture the girls. Both Trenton and Kallista are strong characters, and each have their own abilities that they bring to the table. The history of Cove is interesting, and I enjoyed hearing how the whole city-in-a-mountain works. There’s a bit of mystery to the story, and I liked how Trenton and Kallista worked together to solve each of the pieces of the puzzle. This is a fun middle-grader story, that I think both boys and girls will enjoy. I love the message of this book as well. Creativity and invention are wonderful things; learning to think outside of the box is an excellent skill to have.

I love that this is a great story, and it’s completely clean! There is no profanity (thank you!!), no “intimacy” except for 13 year-old crushes, and very little violence. It is a fantastic middle-grader story that boys and girls will enjoy. I was hooked from the beginning! It’s a fast, easy read, and I recommend it. It would make a great read-aloud as well.

Rating: PG (No profanity or “intimacy,” and very little violence.)

Recommendation: 3rd grade and up.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

*This post was originally posted 9/28/15 and updated on 11/3/17.

Mysteries of Cove Trilogy:

Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Revolution Book 1 by J. Scott Savage
Book #1
Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution Book 2 by J. Scott Savage
Book #2

Cover Reveal!!!

Sooooooo…………………I have a new segment for you! I don’t know how often I’ll do it, but we’ll try it out! I have a cover reveal to show you! This is a new book from J.Scott Savage, and it will be out in the Fall of this year. Are you ready???? Drumroll  please……………….

Pretty neat, right? Have I peaked your interest yet? Well, just in case, here is a little more info.:
Author Note:
Like many of my books, the inspiration for my new series Fires of Invention came from the collision of two ideas. The first time the story occurred to me was while I was watching the musical Wicked with my wife. The moment I walked into the theater and saw the huge mechanical dragon above the stage, I thought, Wow! I have to write a story about that! A few weeks later, I was talking with my nephew, who is probably the most creative kid I know, but whose inventiveness often gets him into trouble, and I thought, What if a kid who had the talents of my nephew lived in a world where creativity was against the law? What if the kids were building . . . a steam-powered dragon? Bam! I had my story.
Powered by great feedback from my agent, Michael Bourret, my good friend and author James Dashner, my publisher, Chris Schoebinger, and the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons, I wrote the entire first draft of the first volume in the series, Mysteries of Cove in four weeks. This book is unlike anything I have ever written. There are elements of City of Ember, Dragon Riders, and Hugo in it all mashed up together in a world I fell in love with from the moment I started writing.
I think what’s most exciting to me about this book is that it’s about giving yourself the freedom to imagine. To take chances. Too often we limit ourselves by only trying things we’re confident we can succeed at when what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fail. Often it is when we attempt things with no idea of how we can possibly pull them off that we achieve our greatest successes.
Book Description:
STEAMPUNK! Plus Dragons!
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.
Author Bio:
J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.
INSTAGRAM: jscottsavage
………Are you excited yet???? Me too!!! I’m already on the list to review it when it comes out later this year, so I’ll let you know what I think!!!……………Stay Tuned!!!

Far World: Air Keep (Book #3)

FarWorld: Air Keep (Book #3) by J. Scott Savage

(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “It’s been six months since Marcus and Kyja obtained the help of the land and water elementals, but before they can secure the help from the mysterious air elementals, the two friends must first be reunited. A task easier said than done. Master Therapass is worried that trying to pull Marcus to FarWorld would put him in danger of the shadow realm, but if Marcus stays on Earth, he’ll be sent back to the Philo T. Justice School for Boys instead of being able to stay on the protected grounds of the monastery. While attempting to return to FarWorld, Marcus finds himself in the Abyss of Time, facing four doors: the Is, the Was, the Will Be, and the Never Was. What he learns in that dangerous place has the potential to change his life–and Kyja’s. But does he have the courage to tell her what he learned? And in FarWorld, a drought, floods, and blizzards have seized the land, hinting that perhaps there is a traitor in the elementals’ midst. The Dark Circle is growing in power, and as Marcus and Kyja desperately search for the air elementals, they must first answer the question ‘Is there anyone we can trust?'”

Wow. I think this third book does live up to the first two. It’s full of action, adventure, deception, lies, wars, weather, a hint of love, and so much more. There are some mysteries, some new friends and old, and the ending. Had everyone else in my house not been sleeping when I finished, I think I would have screamed. Talk about a cliff-hanger, and when does book #4 come out? Hopefully soon because I’m dying over here. The characters, once again, make the book. The sacrifices Marcus and Kyja make for each other are very telling. Poor Marcus has this info. he has to live with throughout the whole book, and doesn’t think he can tell Kyja. But telling her is what makes the difference in the end. Those two are so cute. They each have their limitations, but they learn to work together. You see a little of a different side of Kyja in this book. She has a temper, did you know? You also see a little more of who the enemy really is in this book. A few new allies come forward as well. Even though Tankhum is a statue, I like him a lot. I like his personality. The air elementals are very interesting and creative. They are somewhat annoying at times, but they also have a funny side to them. I liked this book, and if you enjoyed the first two in the series, you will enjoy this one.

Rating: PG+ (Fighting, wars, death (of a main character), some evil creatures)

Recommendation: 4th or 5th grade and up.

To purchase this book, click here:
 
 

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



FarWorld: Land Keep (Book #2)

FarWorld: Land Keep (Book #2) by J. Scott Savage

(Summary taken from the back of the book) “Four mythical elementals-Water, Land, Air, and Fire-have the power to save two worlds, Earth and Farworld, from a common enemy: the Dark Circle. In book two, Land Keep, Marcus and Kyja travel with Cascade, a Water Elemental, toward Land Keep, the home of the powerful and wise Land Elementals. However, their journey may end before it even begins. Land Keep is empty, deserted for at least a thousand years, and the rumor is that the creatures who once controlled all land magic are extinct. Marcus ad Kyja’s only hope seems to lie in finding the Augur Well, a legendary Oracle protected by subtle traps and mind-bending trials. To succeed in their quest, Marcus and Kyja must also avoid the Keepers of the Balance, an order dedicated to redistributing magic to the rich and powerful. And they must travel far underground, where Cascade is unable to follow and where they will be unable to leap to the safety of Earth. As the Dark Circle closes around them, Marcus and Kyja are faced with the temptation of what they desire most. Sacrifices must be made, and not everyone will survive unscathed.”

I think I liked this book more than the first one. I liked the tests and trials of Land Keep. I liked that Marcus and Kyja had to use their bodies and brains for each of the tests. I think the writing is a little better in this book as well. Marcus and Kyja are still what makes the book. Their characters and their relationship drive this book and series. I love that it shows how they overcome challenges and adversity even though they may have some disabilities. I love that it shows how they work together to accomplish goals. In real life we all need a support group to help us through. I’m always trying to teach my kids that by working together they can accomplish more, quicker, and this book is a great example of that. The evil guys get a little more evil and a little scarier, but I still think the 4th-5th graders will do fine with it. The war at the end is quite intense, and I loved a lot of the twists. There were a few I wasn’t too happy with….think betrayal…..but overall, I thought it fit well and brought in some foreshadowing from the first book. I was wondering what Mr. Savage would do for evil guys in the next book because….well, I won’t tell you what happens, but….just you wait. The ending, oh the ending. I read it and said, “What??? No…..” Then I re-read it just to make sure that is what it really said, and I read it again just in case it had changed. Unfortunately, it’s a cliff-hanger surprise that took me off guard and made me very mad. Suffice it to say, I MUST READ the NEXT BOOK. Luckily for me, it’s under my bed. If you liked the first book, you will definitely want to read this one!

Rating: PG+ (Sword and magic fighting, war, evilness, death, death of some known characters, betrayal. No language or “physical intimacy”–except maybe a small kiss.)

Recommendation: 4th to 5th grade and up. As always, I recommend a parent reads it first because each child has different sensitivities and levels of maturity.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

FarWorld: Water Keep (Book #1)

FarWorld: Water Keep (Book #1)

(Summary taken from the back book cover) “Even though thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas is confined to a wheelchair, he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place–Farworld. When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of the two worlds. But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass’s secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld’s only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elementals–water, land, air, and fire–and convince them to open a drift between the two worlds. As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them–Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S’Bae. Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers.”

What a fun surprise! I hadn’t heard anything about this book or series when I was asked to review them, and I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed this book, and I know my 4th and 5th graders will also enjoy it. They’re already begging me to read it. Don’t worry, I’ll hand it over as soon as I finish my review. The book is written well. There are some fun and some scary surprises, and some interesting twists and turns. I think it flows well and is easy to read and understand. Some of the names are difficult to pronounce (Thrathkin S’Bae……take your guess at that one……), but it adds to the mystery and tension in the book. I liked the characters and thought Mr. Savage did a good job developing them, especially Marcus and Kyja. Master Therapass reminded me a lot of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. He can be quirky and fun and magicky (yes, I just made up that word…..), yet he can also be serious and get down to business. He is very protective of his two young friends. I liked how Mr. Savage tied in each of the character’s pasts, and how they fit together. Marcus and Kyja are so young, but they work together and accomplish some great things. I like that although each of them has a “disability,” they work hard to overcome their shortcomings and use ingenuity to discover new ways of doing things. I like that they are both strong characters. The villans in this book are scary, to say the least. Huge snakes are not my idea of fun, and I hope I never meet anyone named Bonesplitter.

Although scary and somewhat violent in parts, this book is clean. There is no language and no intimacy. There is violenc (bullying and fighting against some evil characters). It’s not too gory or disgusting. It’s about the level of the Percy Jackson books. I really enjoyed this book and do recommend it with the above warnings.

Rating: PG+ (Some violence: bullying and fighting and some evil characters)

Recommendation: 4th grade and up. I am a lot older than 4th grade and I enjoyed it, so I think it has elements that older age groups will enjoy as well.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.