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The League of Seven by Alan Gratz

The League of Seven (edition 2015)

by Alan Gratz (Author), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Series: The League of Seven (book 1)

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1284167,302 (3.67)1
When an alternate 1875 steam-driven America rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn monsters, and the secret society to protect humanity from the Mangleborn is compromised, twelve-year-old Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.
Title:The League of Seven
Authors:Alan Gratz (Author)
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:Starscape (2015), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

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The League of Seven by Alan Gratz


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In an alternate 1875 America electricity is forbidden, Native Americans and Yankees are united, and eldritch evil lurks in the shadows. Young Archie Dent knows there really are monsters in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten―but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn. When his parents and the rest of the Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.
  Gmomaj | Nov 16, 2019 |
See full review @ The Indigo Quill
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!"

Some cons: Archie was really cool and brave in the beginning, but as other characters were added to the story he lost some of his enthusiasm. His bravery diminished with each event, and the female of the group picked up where everyone else lacked (huzzah for feminism!) While society writing about stronger female characters is great, I don't think we should keep emasculating the boys in the process. How about encouraging teamwork between the sexes and working on that whole 'equality' thing? I think that idea can pertain to all sorts of group dynamics.

My best relation to this series is Percy Jackson. If you're a fan of that series, then you'll likely enjoy The League of Seven. It's like the steampunk version, with less god-orphans, of course. ( )
  TheIndigoQuill | Nov 7, 2015 |
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The League of Seven is a steampunk adventure for middle grade readers. It takes place in a world that is completely unique, with an alternate history. It's kind of difficult for me to explain my thoughts about this book. I started this book immediately after reading the best middle grade (also steampunk) book of the year, [b:Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times|18332010|Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times|Emma Trevayne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1397503210s/18332010.jpg|25877747]. Sometimes when I read a book so spectacular and amazing, other books simply pale in comparison. That's kind of what happened here. It makes me think my response may not be too fair, so when I hovered between 2 and 3 stars, I decided to rate up and stick with 3.

Don't get me wrong, The League of Seven was a good read. The story was unique and I liked the characters a lot. The friendship that developed between Hachi, Fergus, and Archie was inspiring and realistic. Hachi, the girl, impressed me the most. Of the three friends, she was the only girl and also was "the warrior." She constantly saved the lives of the boys, and was fighting while they hid or stayed out of her way. It was brilliant! I can't tell you how long I've waited for a middle grade book to have a sensitive girl who is the warrior (self-taught) who keeps the boys alive! I was cheering for her from the start.

The only real criticism I can make it that it took me awhile to get into it, and I felt like the book was missing something. There was a spark that is usually present that I didn't really sense at all. Unfortunately, I can't really describe it any better than that.

The story had enough creativity, myth, and action to interest me. If you're obsessed with steampunk, you'd like this story. It may not be the best steampunk tale of the year, but it was good. The message it gives is more positive for females than is the norm, and for that alone I give it a thumbs up. ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
First in a steampunk trilogy set in an alternate reality America. Archie Dent realizes it's up to him when his parents and other members of the Septemberist Society are taken over by the Mangleborn who are escaping their thousand-year imprisonment. ( )
  lilibrarian | Jun 30, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Gratzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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When an alternate 1875 steam-driven America rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn monsters, and the secret society to protect humanity from the Mangleborn is compromised, twelve-year-old Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.

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