Some people don't like this book - they feel that the illustrations are a gimmick to make the book longer. I disagree - I fell for the gimmick, in fact, I really liked it! I enjoyed how the pictures really drew me into the action and pulled me through the story. I can't find the exact quote again, but I liked the point that movies are (were) dreams becoming real, especially in that early era. That is very obvious when you see the stills (startling clarity, by the way, given their age!) from Méliès' movies.

There were a few things that bothered me, though. I often wanted to shake Hugo (and other characters) and yell "just tell the truth already! why all the secrecy?" Also, I didn't have a good sense of how much time was passing. For a book that relies so much on clocks, you think it would be more obvious - but I guess that would depend on calendars, not just a machine that counts the hours.

I know the "Invention" of the title is supposed to be his automaton, but I wonder if it also refers to the invention of Hugo as a person - how his skills and interests are finally given an opportunity to flourish once he gets involved with Papa Georges and Isabelle.