Only three of the Seven Leaguers have gotten together to battle Thomas Edison and the monstrous Mangleborn by the end of the first entry in this fun-filled alternate history steampunk trilogy. Archie Dent (12) is the leader, the Jandal a Haad, the immortal, Made of Stone and The Shadow; Fergus with his power over electricity is the Tinker and maker; Hachi, a young Native American female, is the Warrior, the greatest fighter of the age. Still to come in book two: a lawbringer, a scholar, a strongman, and a trickster. Archie’s parents have been possessed and are under the control of bug-like creatures (think They Came from Outer Space). Thomas Edison is a villain in this alternate history of America who is trying to raise the Swarm Queen of the Mangleborn from her thousand year prison in Florida. Archie picks up the other two members of the League as he battles monsters, escapes and heads into battle again. Along the way he discovers that he’s not just the leader, he’s the immortal one, who can go either way, kill the other members of the League or fight with them to save the world. So far the world’s safe, but it was a really close call there at the end of book one. It should be interesting to see how the battle continues in the subsequent volumes and who the other teens are he recruits to join him in his struggle against the forces of evil. Perfect middle grade fantasy, lots of action, lots of battles, lots of icky monsters, lots of fun. I loved how this talented author combined Samurai principles with baseball in Samurai Shortstop. Now he’s turned his inventive mind to the Steampunk genre, with equal success. Fun!
– Bonnie Kunzel, Past-President of YALSA