THE INVENTORS AT NO. 8 by A. M. Morgen
Updated: Oct 5
I took a break from my now usual Young Adult books to read this fun Middle Grade! It took a little while for me to complete this book, as I listened to the audiobook as I read along, but I think it was well worth the slower pace. In fact, I boosted the rating of this book by one star simply because I loved the narration of the audiobook so much.
Sometimes, good storytelling is all a book needs to go from mediocre to good or even great.
So, while this wasn't my favorite MG book I've read, I gave it four stars. Three for the book itself and one for the fantastic narration. This is the second book that I've done something like this for. Both books were narrated by the same person, Polly Lee. What can I say, I just really like her narration style!
The plot starts out pretty standard. A treasure map, a secret organization, a thief. If you've read a book you've probably read this premise. In fact, if you've seen National Treasure you're basically familiar with it.
And then it starts to get interesting.
There are twists and turns and surprises along the way. Some I honestly didn't see coming. Orangutans, pirates, and mechanical creatures, oh my!
George: George is the 3rd Lord of Devonshire and the unluckiest boy in the world. At least, according to him. And, to be honest, when you learn his backstory and his current predicament, you might agree. He is prim, proper, and a complete scaredy-cat. However, he finds his bravery as the story progresses with the help of his friends.
Ada: Ada is a complete wild card. She's an inventor, brave, and sassy. She's also secretive and cynical. Surprisingly, as I learned from the author's note at the end, she is based on a real person. Her name is Ada Byron in the story, but most people would know her as Ada Lovelace, a famous mathematician. I found it really interesting that the author worked in a real person into the main characters of this fictional book. That's not to say she is the only real person that Morgen worked into the book.
Oscar: Oscar is ... the exact opposite of Oscar the Grouch. Oscar is perpetually happy, optimistic, and helpful. While he sometimes butts heads with George, that is more George's fault than his. Even when arguing, Oscar is just a very happy person. He could be overlooked easily, but he plays an important role in the story.
Ruthie: Ruthie is an orangutan. She likes to hug the sadness out of people and eat rocks.
This book, despite being slower because of the audiobook, was actually very action-packed. Things always seem to be happening. So, I would say that it's a pretty fast-paced book. Pretty usual for an MG novel.
While I'm not sure I'll pick up the sequel because it hasn't been narrated by anyone (Polly Lee, get on it!) I do think this book was worth the read. If I ever need a fun MG read that I know I'll enjoy and is fast-paced, I will know to check this book out again.