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The League of Seven Hardcover – August 19, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: League of Seven
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Starscape; First Edition edition (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076533822X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765338228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—The Septemberist Society is a secret society that remembers the past and watches for signs that the Mangleborn might escape from underground prisons the Ancient League built for them. Septemberists exist because "people didn't want to know there were really monsters in the world" as they wait for a new League of Seven to be born to fight the ever-lurking evil in this steampunk world. Archie, born to Septemberist parents, is thrust into the middle of a massive Mangleborn uprising after his parents are attacked by tentacled, buglike manglespawn. Our reluctant hero now has his quest assignment: to save his parents, and in doing so, prevent the darkness that lives beneath the swamps of Florida from taking over the world. Every reluctant hero needs trusty sidekicks—Archie has Mr. Rivets, his Tik-Tok machine-man servant; Fergus, a boy working with Edison on "lektricity"; and Hachi, a First Nations girl who has dedicated her life to being a warrior. Together, they must battle Manglespawn monsters, armies of insect men, and Edison's assassinbot. And if they succeed? Well, as Archie would say, that would be so brass. This steampunk love-letter set in an alternative 1870s America, packs in quite a lot of action, if sometimes at the expense of character development. So many steampunk elements have been worked into book that readers may experience sensory overload. The first installment in a planned trilogy.—Meg Allison, The Moretown School, VT

Review

“An enticing alternate history presents an America in which Native tribes have as much power and presence as Yankees, with politics of their own to navigate. Gratz has created an imaginative world with appeal far beyond its immediate middle-grade market.” —Publishers Weekly

“Gratz works an unusual twist into the familiar teens-saving-the-Earth-from-monsters trope: The protagonist is both archetypal hero and, at least potentially, nemesis…. Action, banter and steampunk-style tech aplenty—plus truly icky foes inspired, the author acknowledges, by the creations of H.P. Lovecraft—make this an appealingly fast-paced trilogy opener.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This hybrid of steampunk and alternate American history features a hell-raising girl’s school, Atlantis, and three highly likable leads in a yarn rip-roaring from start to finish…. Moments of humor and pathos enliven the history and fantasy. Though the main plot concerning Archie’s parents is resolved, there is plenty to address and discover in a sequel.” —Booklist

“This steampunk love-letter set in an alternative 1870s America, packs in quite a lot of action.” —School Library Journal

“A fast-paced, action-packed adventure of the best kind! The world of The League of Seven is wonderfully unique and refreshingly diverse—even the most reluctant of readers won’t be able to put it down!” —Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Isaac D. Peterson on August 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Yeah! I'm the first review! I love this- definitely buy it- wonderful kids literature that has elements that will appeal to everyone. The book draws from Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft with a fast paced, fun pop. If you like something fun to read and exciting, buy this! If you are an adult who read the harry potter and his dark materials books, this is a perfect addition. This book rules
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The League of Seven is an imaginative mid school read featuring a wild steampunk world full of menacing monsters and soaring steamships. But oddly passive main characters rarely rise to meet the challenge of the worldbuilding and the horror is fairly disturbing.

In an alternate universe 1875 America, Archie Dent is the son of heroic parents: members of the Septemberist Society who have historically protected the Earth from the monstrous creatures known as Mangleborn. Although they have been suppressed for centuries, the mangleborn have found a new conduit back into the human world: electricity. The time has come for a New League of Seven: the heroes with unique abilities to appear when the world needs them most. Archie Dent always dreamed of being the leader of the League of Seven: fate may have arranged that he will assume that role and find the remaining six.

About half way through this novel, I realized I just wasn't enjoying the story. Despite the very creative reimagining of the 1875 world, I didn't get into Archie or the other characters. Gratz is a good enough author that he would take a very passive child and transform him through adversity into a hero. But that transformation was taking far too long and I had a hard time rooting for or understanding the character. Odd plot choices abounded - each one making Archie more of a unappealing, timid, crybaby than heroic. He falls asleep in great danger, doesn't run or fight but goes along with the flow, cries and shuts down with adversity, and seems more like a seven year old than pre-tween. Perhaps that was more realistic when a child is confronted with horror situations - but then again, I don't want realism in a fantastical steampunk world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wbentrim VINE VOICE on September 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The League of Seven by Alan Gratz

This is a YA Steampunk adventure. The setting and the circumstances should put a new twist on the way you view the world. Three barely teen adventurers and their Tik Tok jack of all trades, Mr. Rivets are all that oppose the Mangleborn monsters striving to take over the world.

The author does a good job providing age appropriate personalities to his characters. Fergus can get so wrapped up in his appreciation of his sciences that he totally misses the danger he might face. I think all of us who have worked with children and particularly very bright children have known a Fergus. Archie exhibits the insecurities that epitomize the teen years. He is a very flawed hero which, of course, makes him more believable in a very unbelievable story.

Equally the single minded Hachi is easy to understand due to the trauma she has faced. I was a bit surprised by the amount of death dealing in an novel for this young of an age group. It is appropriate to the plot but gives the story a bit more edge that may stretch the comfort factor of some parents.

Mr. Rivets' interest in a self winding device provided a delightful tongue in cheek moment. Gratz did a nice job in creating his Steampunk world.

I liked the book and recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bartleby on October 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The author says in his bio that his approach to writing this book was to make a list of all things that he loved as a ten-year-old, then see if he couldn't weave them into a unified book. Those things include everything from airships to ray guns, robots, robot men, bizarre monsters and heads in jars. It's all part of a steampunk fantasy world that I think most kids will love.
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Format: Hardcover
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com

Special thanks to NetGalley and Starscape for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In a breakthrough novel for young readers, Alan Gratz brings a unique tale of adventure and sci-fi. In the spirit of steampunk, The League of Seven is unlike any other middle grade book I've read. The fresh idea definitely peaked my interest.

Set in an alternative 1870s steampunk America, the protagonist is Archie Dent, whose parents are librarians and have been affected by monsters called Mangleborns. The Mangleborns are trying to take over the world and one of their best weapons is that everyone thinks they're still trapped underground. They've been silenced for thousands of years, so naturally their appearance would be unexpected.

But now Thomas Edison is on the scene, and he's not necessarily the nice guy we read about in our history books. Mangleborns feed off electricity, and Edison has just rediscovered its power. We also get introduced to another scientific legacy, Nikola Tesla, so in a way you could say this is the steampunk version of Percy Jackson.

Overall, this was a pretty cool book. I definitely think it will be enjoyable for young readers, especially those interested in this genre. It is unique enough from many other series that it'll provide new elements to the young sci-fi scene. The adventure factor is fast-paced and easily keeps the reader's attention, and I loved how they incorporated historical figures into the storyline so kids can get a little more excited when they hear those names in school. Plus, you learn some snazzy new tags like, "that's so brass!
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More About the Author

I'm the author of a number of books for young readers, including Samurai Shortstop, Something Rotten, Something Wicked, The Brooklyn Nine, Fantasy Baseball, and Starfleet Academy: The Assassination Game. My wife and I are also the authors of the Gratz Industries blog, where we chronicle our attempts to lead creative, productive lives.

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