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The Wolf Tree (The Clockwork Dark, Book 2) Hardcover – August 24, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Clockwork Dark Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9–The Wolf Tree is a busy book with multiple characters, frenetic action, and a hodgepodge of plot points. It's part steampunk, part American tall tale, and part pseudo-Native American legend. The story begins with readers learning that Conker, John Henry's son who was thought to have died in The Nine Pound Hammer (Random, 2009) is alive, having been saved by Redfeather's magical copper necklace. The siren, Jolie (who also disappeared at the end of book one), takes him to a secret spring to nurse him back to health. Meanwhile, Nat, Si, Buck, Marisol, Ray, and the children they rescued from the Pitch Dark Train are living an idyllic life in the Smoky Mountains. Ray finishes his training and becomes a full-fledged Rambler. Life is reasonably comfortable until a dying stranger with pasty gray skin and motor oil in place of his blood comes to Shuckstack speaking of a terrible Darkness that is consuming the towns of the prairies. Ray and Marisol leave to investigate the Darkness, and Sally, Ray's sister, leaves to try and find her father. Meanwhile Conker and Jolie are trying to find the Nine Pound Hammer in order to repair it with wood from the fabled Wolf Tree that is a path into the spirit world. It is the only weapon that can destroy the Gog's evil Machine, which is causing the Darkness. Ultimately there is too much happening, and it is difficult to invest in either the characters or the story line. Recommended only where the first book is popular.–Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Picking up a year or so after The Nine Pound Hammer (2009), the second book in the Clockwork Dark series is every bit as peculiar and inventive. Ray and the remnants of the Ramblers are living in the Smoky Mountains when a visitor arrives, dripping oil like blood and speaking about the Darkness: a black cloud that has wiped out most of the daylight in Kansas and is spreading like smoke. The very thing that will challenge some readers—the quirky plot that jerks along like an old jalopy—will be the thing that endears it to others. One thing’s for sure: Bemis’ pastiche of steampunk and Americana is a refreshing change of pace from the paranormal stuff crowding the shelves. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375855661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375855665
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,536,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Claude Bemis is an award-winning children's book author, musician, and educator. The first novel in his Clockwork Dark trilogy, "The Nine Pound Hammer," was selected as a New York Public Library Best Children's Book for Reading and Sharing. His trilogy continues with "The Wolf Tree" and "The White City" and has been described as "original and fresh" and "a unique way of creating fantasy." His novel, "The Prince Who Fell from the Sky," was an Amazon Editor's Pick for Best Book for Summer Reading. His forthcoming novel, "Out of Abaton: The Wooden Prince," is a fantasy reimagining of the Pinocchio story. John lives in Hillsborough, NC.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A perfect can't-put-down-under-the-cover read. I picked the book up yesterday at the author's book launch and am happy to say that it answered questions from The Nine Pound Hammer: Book 1 of The Clockwork Dark series by John Claude Bemis, but as it did it gave me new ones to ponder until the final book comes out next year. I was disappointed with the end but I have faith that it will be resolved to my liking.
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Format: Hardcover
A great follow-up to the Nine Pound Hammer, The Wolf Tree is a page-turner. While the Nine Pound Hammer was very well written and enjoyable to read, The Wolf Tree has an element of excitement to it from the very beginning. Bemis does a great job of teasing the reader with the mysteries of the "machine", making it difficult to put down.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finished this book and it was great. The Wolf Tree had really good temp and didn't 'stall' or slow down in any way. So, the pace of the book really had me turning pages. Also thought Bemis did an excellent job of handling the book as a sequel. It informs the reader of what took place in the prequel but also stands on its own, which must be a difficult thing to do for an author.
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Format: Kindle Edition
After reading the first novel, The Nine Pound Hammer, I am thoroughly vested in the characters now and concerned for their well being. Yes I am old enough to know better but a kid still at heart. But now the author has taken a different turn in the story and leads me to yet another surprising journey and twist I could not have predicted. Of course the majority of kids who read Y/A can’t usually predict what is coming but as an adult I can pretty much guess the outcome of most stories, but not this one. I had no clue and this intrigues me and keeps me reading. This novel, The Wolf Tree incorporates more than just American Folklore but now we are diving into Native American Folklore which puts a whole new spin on things. And with the audio, I still love the Bluegrass Appalachian folk music between chapters in the audio version.

Still recommending this for ages 8 to 88.
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By Jax on April 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great book by Bemis can't wait further next one. As a student and teen I enjoy these books and was excited when the Author came to our own little town of Brevard. My friend wouldn't stop asking him questions because she loves books. I hope you become a successful Author because we need more people with Imagination like you. As I said before great book. Good job John Claude Bemis.
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