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The Wolf Tree (The Clockwork Dark #2)
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The Wolf Tree (The Clockwork Dark #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  157 ratings  ·  28 reviews
So asks the sickly stranger who staggers into Peg Leg Nel’s birthday party. Before the man dies, he tells Ray and his friends of a Darkness spreading like wildfire across Kansas, turning good people bad and poisoning anyone who tries to escape. It’s clear that though the evil Gog is dead, his devilish machine has survived and is growing stronger.

Now a full-fledged Rambler,
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ebook, 400 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 344)
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Jackie
In this second volume of “The Clockwork Dark”, many of the characters of the first book travel throughout the country learning new skills and maturing. Their paths finally join at the Wolf Tree for a brief reunion before splitting up again with each group travelling with a specific task to help defeat the growing darkness. The newly rebuilt 9 pound hammer has been stolen and must be recovered. Nel has to be warned that the Gog knows about Shuckstack, the safe haven he founded for the children wh ...more
Dan Shonka
The second book of the Clockwork Dark series finds the main characters separated, and new characters joining the fray. The underlying element of ecology or conservationism comes more to the forefront, but not to the detriment of the story. In fact, it becomes a driving force in the story, almost a character. The chemistry between the characters, many of whom have paired up here, grows. Is there even a bit of romance developing? A bit of a love triangle? At any rate, this book maintains the pace ...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
The Clockwork Dark series is about Conker and his friend Ray. They live during the time of the American West and in their world, American legends are real people.

Conker is John Henry’s son. John Henry was a legendary railroad worker who defeated a steam powered hammer, man against machine, in a contest. His stories are legends like Pecos Bill or Paul Bunyan. Ray is a Rambler. Ramblers are like knights or rangers or aurors…their job is to protect the world from evil.

In book #1: The Nine Pound Ham
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Books Ahoy
If The Nine Pound Hammer was amazing then The Wolf Tree was extraordinary! This book sucks you in right at the beginning with the talk of "The Darkness". This sequel was in my opinion more suspenseful and kept me surprised the more I read. My favorite part was finding out that....well, I don't want to spoil it for you ;) . There were so many events happening that I couldn't put the book down. Another thing I liked about it is that it's not only told in Ray's point of view this time around. We ge ...more
Angie
I liked this one. Not quite to a four but more than "just" a three.

Ray is in the story ... but he is not nearly as central a character. Sally takes on a much larger role, as does Marisol (and her snakes ... which still give me the creeps). Jolie, too. And (without giving too much away) another character we did not expect to see again.

I don't quite "get" the whole machine thing, but I think book three should tie that up. This book was definitely a middle "we're not ready to finish but we want to
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Linda
My son and I listen to books on tape all the time. We listened to the 9 pound hammer and enjoyed it very much. Then we started reading this book, the cover said it was for kids 8-12. Not true! 8 year olds should not be reading this book or listening to it. This book has very graphic death scenes and racial slurs. I am not light of heart nor do I believe in censorship. However, I do think perhaps that the publishers or whoever rates these stories should really think about who the audience should ...more
Shanshad Whelan
Not bad overall. Definitely a 2nd book in a series in that you really need to read the first and the story doesn't have as nice a conclusion as does the original book because there are so many story threads open for the third.

I will say having so many viewpoints in this story made it less strong than the original where Ray was our main focus. Ray doesn't seem to have as much to do in this book by comparison. The knowledge of Ramblers and the existence of legend and magic has become just part of
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Bunnyjadwiga
Oddly enough, I didn't have as high expectations for this as I did for volume 1, but I liked it better. I really preferred the variety of perspectives here and the worldbuilding shone through.
Jlnpeacock
Continuing the story begun in "The Nine Pound Hammer," this book develops the plot nicely and enlarges the characters. I think the author does a good job engaging the interest of the reader in the lives of the various characters. I was sorry the third book in the trilogy wasn't out already so I could see how the story ends. I am anxiously waiting for November when the final story should be available. I think most 10 and up readers would enjoy the series. I loved all the folk legends and supersti ...more
Kaethe
I picked this up yesterday, so as to not have to deal with it at the official book launch party on Saturday. The author is a friend and neighbor, and the Offspring will be performing at the launch. As eager as we all are to read Mockingjay, the Possum preferred to start reading this.
Dana
I was very excited when the second book came out. It is a true second volume that follows the pattern of many trilogies. John lives in my town and I am thrilled that he is doing so well. The book continues to have new twists, new characters, and new threats to our hero Ray. A great read for anyone who loves fantasy, but is just a bit tired of the british wizarding invasion.
Susan
Like some other reviewers, I felt the multitude of perspectives used and multitude of hanging threads at the end weakened my connection at bit to this sophomore work. However, it's still a fun tale and holds enough potential for me to look forward to more from this author. Definitely darker with slightly more mature themes.
Andrew Neal
It's the second of three books, so there's nothing even remotely like an ending. I'm a little worried about the characters getting too powerful to stay interesting, but it hasn't happened yet.

Having said all that, I still found it compellingly written and will eagerly read the last volume when it comes out.
Sherrie
Well done follow up to The Nine Pound Hammer. I enjoyed this book even more than the first. The Wolf Tree offered up more action and adventure than the first book. There were so many loose ends at the end of this book so I'm excited to see if the machine will be destroyed.
Spanish Springs Library  Book Buddies
This is John Claude Bemis's second book in the Clockwork Dark series, which is featured in Spanish Springs Library's Book Buddies for May 2011. Check out our review of Book 1 (The Nine Pound Hammer) for discussion questions. Enjoy!
Sarah Tilatitsky
This book is a little bit less boring, but it was still fantastic, with twists, turns and surprises at every page. I feel sad that Conker had to stay in the water for nearly a year, but he's allright, and as strong as ever!
Amy Wilmoth
Really like this series. This is the second book in a series of three. Great fantasty story that keeps you wanting to turn the page to find out what happens next. Plus he's another great local author.
Mrs. Lee
Decent sequel but I really rushed my reading to get to the point where they all figured out a key point in the book. I was intrigued that the author decided to split the point of view in this story.
Mikig
I may give this another try since the first one was so engaging. This one just didn't have the same pull and I lost interest. Too many other good books to take time for this one.
Katy
I read all three over the summer. I find that a lot of sequels fall short but this one held it's own and developed other characters from the first book.
Kim
This was a great sequel and such fun books. I love the characters. I really enjoyed it as much as the first and can't wait to continue reading.
Monica
Again slow moving. The prose is good and the characters are compelling, but the chase-plot is simply too long.
Tracy
I'm listening to this series. It is wonderful, and sticks in my mind all day long.
Martha
Apr 02, 2015 Martha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle school
2nd in a trilogy. Good adventure series in its "steampunk" setting.
Terry
See Nine pound hammer for my thoughts on this trilogy.
Tamarah
JF Bem
- good recommend for guys
- legends
Bayhartwell
Left me hanging, can't wait to read the third!
Veronica
Aug 29, 2010 Veronica is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
AWESOME!!
Lemniskate67
Lemniskate67 is currently reading it
Apr 17, 2015
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From the author website;
I’ve always been fascinated by trains. My grandfather hopped trains all over the country in his “hobo days” and filled my head with curious stories of America’s lost past. Those stories, I suppose, were the beginnings of my first novel, The Nine Pound Hammer.

I grew up in rural eastern North Carolina by a swampy creek on the Neuse River. Yes, I’ve been bitten by a water mocc
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More about John Claude Bemis...

Other Books in the Series

The Clockwork Dark (3 books)
  • The Nine Pound Hammer (The Clockwork Dark, #1)
  • The White City (The Clockwork Dark #3)
The Nine Pound Hammer (The Clockwork Dark, #1) The Prince Who Fell from the Sky The White City (The Clockwork Dark #3) The Mystifying Medicine Show The Alchemist's Son

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