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The League of Seven Hardcover – August 19, 2014
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From School Library Journal
“The League of Seven is amazingly interesting, unique, and captivating. From the steam-powered, clockwork-run 1870s setting to the persistent protagonist to the fresh takes on important historical events and figures, the novel is hard to put down. Although it is written for a middle school audience, it also provides a clean, fast-paced romp for older students who do not mind an easy read.” ―VOYA 5Q, 4P M J
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Without a word of backstory, Alan immerses the reader into this fantasy world, giving you just enough information that will make you want to keep reading.
The secret entrance to the headquarters of the Septemberist Society could only be reached by submarine. Twelve-year-old Archie Dent had been there a dozen times before and still he had no idea where it was. Manhatta? State Island? Breucklen? Queens County? For all he knew, the submarine they took to the group’s secret headquarters didn’t go to any of New Rome’s boroughs at all. It might turn right around from the Hudson River Submarine Landing in Jersey and head back to Hackensack territory. And asking didn’t help either. His mother and father didn’t know where it was, or they wouldn’t tell him.
“I’ll bet the Septemberist Society is under the big statue of Hiawatha in New Rome Harbor,” he told his parents as they wove their way through the crowd down to the submarine docks. “That would be so brass!” (p. 1)
Introduction of protagonist with a voice. Check.
Introduction of a believable steampunk world based loosely on cities and states the reader is familiar with? Check.
Next comes the conflict: Enter the Mangleborn and their descendants, the Manglespawn. Monsters so horrific they can only be defeated by the superhuman powers of the League of Seven.
In the opening chapter Archie meets his first monster:
It was something else. Something black and shiny and big, bigger than Archie, with too many legs and too many eyes and a curled, segmented tail with a thick stinger at the end….Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The language of the book made it hard to read at first and I put it down a few times. But, because I needed to read it, I forced my way through and after the first chapter, there... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sheba Ricks
I knew this book would be incredibly inventive and fun, with creative steampunk gadgets and mechanical men. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
We love this book! My husband likes to find adventure books to read aloud to our 7-year-old son before bedtime. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JCZ
As far as creativity goes this is nicely crafted. I enjoyed the world Gratz created, especially the Tik Tok men, the use of pneumatic tubes (which the Victorians heavily used), the... Read morePublished 16 months ago by jsvfoto
My 11-year old absolutely loves this book. She's just come off of reading the Percy Jackson series and was looking for a new adventure to follow. Read morePublished 18 months ago by LJ
Alan writes so well and has such an eclectic taste for stories, not to mention a good sense of humor, I'd read a lot of his books. Sarah Maury SwanPublished 19 months ago by Sarah the book reviewer
League of Seven, the first book in a trilogy, was my first introduction to the steampunk genre, and I think I’m in love! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sherry Lovett
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. Read more
This is so good I am checking out all the other books in our library written by the author!Published 20 months ago by M. Stade