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Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Inventors at No. 8 by A.M. Morgen - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

George thinks he's unlucky. He's lost everyone and because he's the third Lord of Devonshire, but still a child, he has no way to make money and has to sell everything he owns to make ends meet. The only possession he has left is an old map created by his grandfather. The map is supposed to lead to the Star of Victory, a gemstone with the power to make its owner victorious. However, George might have to sell his map, so he won't starve. When someone steals it he's beside himself. Because of his bad luck he hasn't left the house in years and now he has to open his front door and step into the wide world if he wants to save his family's legacy.

While chasing his map George ends up on Ada Byron's doorstep. She's an inventor and has seen a lot of the world already. She's looking for her father and combining their quests seems like a good plan. They will go after the Star of Victory using Ada's favorite flying machine. She's built it herself. While flying they discover they aren't alone, they have two stowaways on board, the son of a pirate and a monkey. Can they help with their mission? Will the overseas journey be a success and will George discover who's behind the theft? Is there a chance he can turn his luck or will he remain unlucky forever?

The Inventors at No. 8 is a fabulous entertaining adventure. George has lost everyone and everything he holds dear and is afraid and pessimistic because of it. He always acts in an abundance of caution, he sees almost everything as a risk and hopes doing nothing will keep him safe. Life doesn't work that way though and Ada shows George that bravery works. She's a fiery and smart girl. She always has a plan, she's got plenty of secrets and I loved the air of mystery around her. I couldn't wait to find out where their voyage in Ada's flying machine would lead and was captivated by the enchanting The Inventors at No. 8 straight away.

A.M. Morgen has a fantastic descriptive writing style. I absolutely loved her tone of voice, which contains the exact right amount of irony and perfectly suits the story. I like fierce and capable heroines and Ada definitely falls into that category. She shows George that the world isn't just scary, it's also beautiful and fun and interesting. I enjoyed how A.M. Morgen works with the concept of friendship, sometimes it's unlikely this unusual match will succeed, but there's always something that brings Ada and George together. If they unite, they can do anything and that's such a great theme for a story. I really enjoyed The Inventors at No. 8, it's original, creative and compelling.


If you love books about inventions, treasure, secrets and adventures you don't want to miss The Inventors at No. 8. The story is meant for the 8-12 age category, but is suitable for anyone who loves Steampunk and magical journeys.

About A.M. Morgen

A.M. Morgen comes from a long line of engineers and researchers but chose to pursue literature over the laboratory. To her family's surprise, she has managed to make a decent living as an editor with her English degree. In her spare time, A.M. enjoys taking long walks in the forest, trying out new hobbies (then abandoning them), and complaining about her mean cat. Despite what you may think, A.M. is not a morning person.


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Why I love unlikeable characters
Guest post by A.M. Morgen

Writing a book is a journey that is often compared to the journey of motherhood. Many writers even refer to their books as their babies. For me, the comparison between motherhood and authorship is especially poignant. Just as I began to write what would become my first published novel, Inventors at No. 8, I became a mother to an actual human child. Not a baby—a child. I skipped over the diaper changes and sleepless nights to become a foster parent to an 8-year-old girl.

There’s a common saying that kids don’t come with instruction manuals. If you are a foster parent, this is not true! You get a huge instruction manual to accompany your mandatory 30 hours of parenting classes. Mostly, this training covers all of the ways in which your child will misbehave due to the trauma they’ve endured in their lives. When you understand the psychological explanations for trauma, it’s much easier to understand that their behaviors are a result of trauma, not because they’re bad kids or inherently unlikeable.

However, if you were to read most children’s books, you’d never be prepared for the reality of raising an “orphaned” child. In children’s literature, kids who lose a parent are supposed to be exceptionally sweet, kind, helpful, and likeable. There are oodles of literary orphans who support this trend: Oliver Twist, Pollyanna, and Harry Potter, to name a few.

There is one notable exception to the literary trope of the cheerful orphan, though. Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden is sour, dour, and thoroughly unlikeable. However, her story of growth and self-discovery has captivated generations of readers. Long before modern psychology was around to explain her obstinate, feral ways, Mary acted much like you a neglected, abandoned child in her situation to actually behave according to the foster parenting manual.

The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. There was something appealing about Mary’s unlikeability. I found comfort in the fact that Mary still found love and acceptance despite her prickly personality. As a shy, introverted child, I didn’t always feel as though people liked me. Mary made that okay. When I began to write my own book that featured an orphan, George, who had been through trauma, it only made sense for him to have a prickly personality too.

Now that my book is out in the world, some readers have mentioned that George, much like Mary Lennox, is not likeable. He’s not supposed to be! Likeability is overrated. Sometimes you need to slam a door because life sucks! Sometimes you push people away because you’re afraid they’ll leave you first. Sometimes you say mean words to people who care about you. That’s all okay as long as you learn from your mistakes and keep growing as a person. You don’t have to be likeable every second of the day if you are loved and can love others. That’s the message my foster daughter needed to hear, and that’s what I wanted the kids who read my book to know.

My foster daughter arrived in my life as I started writing my book and she left as I was finishing copyedits. I still see her often and she came to my book launch party a few weeks ago. She has not read the book, but while I was working on it, she often asked if she was in it. In the beginning, I told her no, she wasn’t in the book. But this last time when she asked at my launch party, I realized the answer was yes. There are pieces of her on every page and parts of her in every character – both the likeable and

unlikeable ones. Not everyone will like my book or like my characters, but I’m okay with that, because I love them.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a hardcover copy of The Inventors at No. 8 by A.M. Morgen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. I love the artwork on the cover, it's lovely :)

  2. The Inventors at No. 8 sounds like a fun enjoyable read tale about being brave, taking chances, friendship and family.

  3. Great cover, and the content sounds absorbing, would love to sit losing myself in these pages!

  4. The Inventors at No. 8 sounds like a fun summer book, just what I've been looking for!

  5. I know my daughter would enjoy this too.

  6. Great cover, sounds good! Thanks for the review

  7. My grandchildren would adore this book, especially my grandson :-)

  8. I'm in love with this cover! I'm so excited to read it.

  9. Sounds like a fun book, I'm sure my kids will love it

  10. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  11. Our young heroes sound like they have an exciting adventure!

  12. Beautiful cover I love it. And the story sounds wonderful.

  13. I was drawn by the beautiful, vintage steampunk cover, but i read the review afterwards and the story sounds indeed unique, magical, and full of adventure, really fits to the cover. Thank you for the review, guest post and giveaway.

  14. Love the cover and sounds like a book my kids will enjoy.

  15. So interesting to read about your foster daughter! Thanks for sharing this story with us! L.

  16. I enjoyed your guest post, your novel depicts life as it is - not everyone is likeable for whatever reason. I like the idea of showing how someone who's unlikeable is still able to grow and self-discover themselves.

  17. What a marvellous adventure and as for the cover, it's gorgeous!