Living in COVE is supposed to keep everyone safe from the outside world, a world too dangerous to live in because of the pollution from too much technology. So there are rules against creativity or against unauthorized tinkering, rules that tell you what foods to eat on which days, and rules for just about everything else. But Trenton has a very inquisitive mind and strong mechanical skills; he just can't help wanting to take things apart and improve them. When he discovers a strange metal tube, his curiosity leads him to Kallista, another inquisitive mechanic. Their search to find other pieces like the tube and to solve the mystery of why Kallista's father left all these pieces leads them to a secret big enough to endanger their lives.
This story reminded me of The City of Ember for many reasons. There is the setting itself, a city buried underground away from a world that is dangerous to humans. Then there are the main characters who are both teenagers working to solve the puzzle of what the city's founders were really trying to do. School is another similarity - the students all are assigned jobs in the city when they reach a certain age and many of them are not placed in the jobs they hope to get. Even the secret passed down from a family member happens in both stories, although the secret in Ember is misplaced due to the sudden death of the secret's keeper.
If you like stories where characters are fighting a system that restricts them from what they are truly born to do, or where kids are trying to do the right thing and dishonest leaders are trying to stop them, or even if you just like large mechanical dragons - then this book is for you. Be careful though, because it will hook you and then you will have to read the rest of the series.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.