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The Mark of the Dragonfly

(World of Solace #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,152 ratings  ·  829 reviews
Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure w ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published March 15th 2014)
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Kaylee Wylie If they do, then they're crazy. It is my favorite book.

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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,152 ratings  ·  829 reviews

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Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Steampunk fantasy for middle schoolers. Awesome and amazing. Jaleigh Johnson has written a wonderful adventure about a young female orphan named Piper, whose world consists of scavenging (a scrapper) and fixing broken machines, a special gift. Piper rescues a strange, young girl from a strange caravan during a meteor storm. Anna has a dragonfly tattoo denoting protection of the southern King intent on hegemony. Piper and Anna flee someone supposedly trying to "help" Anna, jumping on an archaic s ...more
Misty Baker
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
** A 4.8 Review as posted on KindleObsessed blog **

Over the past 5 years I have become very close friends with the secretary at my children’s school. Not because of my children exactly (though she adores both and spoils them rotten) but because we both love to read. Last June (on the last day of school) I brought her a bag full of some of my favorite books. “Here you go,” I said. “Some goodies to keep you company this summer.” She of course flipped out, grabbing the bag and squealing for joy. (B
Wow! Is it steampunk for kids? Sort of, but there is so much more, adventure, danger, learning to trust others and appreciate them as individuals. Most of all, The Mark of the Dragonfly is a fantastic journey into reading that will make even the most reluctant young reader unable to put this one down! The pace is fast, the details are not overbearing, slowing down the story. A younger reader has the chance to turn their own imagination loose and fall into the world of The Mark of the Dragonfly b ...more
The Mark of the Dragonfly is a middle-grade, steampunk/fantasy novel written by Jaleigh Johnson. I have seen very few steampunk-type books targeted to this age group so this is an exciting addition. I should note that when I began The Mark of the Dragonfly, I assumed it was a young adult publication (the goodreads app doesn't show the genres), so once I looked at the details on my PC, it made sense. This book felt very young, even younger than your typical young adult. Had I known it was middl ...more
Colleen Houck
I love the description of the dragonfly tattoo and the power of being able to command and fix machines. That's an awesome ability and I wish I had it too. So curious about these other cultures and beings that came into play. Also about the mystery of the meteor showers that rain down cool stuff upon the land.
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Piper is a scrapper. Where she lives, you survive by mining debris fields right after a meteor shower and selling what you find. She makes a better living than most since she's skilled at repairing machines, a skill that is in high demand.

Then, she comes across a girl, the sole survivor of a group stuck in the middle of a meteor shower. Piper takes her home to recuperate, at which point she's already gotten herself involved in something more complicated than she could ever guess. Piper and Anna
The mood and world-building of the first quarter of the book were fascinating--I couldn't wait to hear more about this strange and futuristic non-Earth where remnants of other lives and planets crashed all around our central character in much-anticipated meteor showers. But the storyline didn't go where I wanted it to go, which is not at all the fault of the book. It's not the talented author's fault that my expectations and wishes weren't met, but I'm still disappointed at what seemed like, for ...more
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was one of the most unique and exciting books of the year for me, and I'm happy to have a chance to recommend it to you. It's listed as a middle grade book, and I think anyone from about 8 on upwards could enjoy it. The main protagonist, Piper, is 13 and other young characters range from 11 to 13, but here I would draw a strong parallel to the characterization in Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy. These characters are intelligent, capable, adventurous, and important. They bear tremendous res ...more
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lately it seems like if I ever get a book that I don't know anything about, from an author I know nothing about (unless it's Christian Fiction) I find stuff in the book that I don't appreciate, such as swearing or more passion than I think is appropriate. So when I saw The Mark of the Dragonfly on NetGalley I almost didn't read it, but I figured middle grade fiction should be okay. I'm so glad I decided to read it. The Mark of the Dragonfly is a mix between Cinder and Polar Express and some myt ...more
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
it's like a teenage Kaylee Frye and a preteen River Tam on the lam in a steam punk world.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Figured out the surprise way early. Would make a good movie (which imo is not a good thing, as books should offer something more, or at least different). Want to know more about the premise of the world. Names are confusing: had to study to keep track of Arno vs. Aron, and how do you pronounce Gee, and why are some names familiar to real-life and others invented? Back cover page not right (among other things, Piper's hair has "spirals.") Some repetitions which, if caught, could be eliminated to ...more
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What a fascinating introduction into steampunk fantasy for any age! The Mark of the Dragonfly is a compelling story that will capture your attention from the very first page.

After her father's death, Piper is now alone in a very harsh world. It will take all the skills Piper has learned from her father, and a few she has developed herself, to survive. In the meteor fields, Piper discovers an unconscious girl. How can Piper help her whe
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Overall this book was great I love the concepts and the machines were really cool. The ending was really satisfying in my opinion, leaves room for you to imagine what will happen next.
Anatea Oroz
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

I don't usually read Middle-Grade books, in fact, I have only read a few of them, but The Mark of the Dragonfly sounded really interesting, so I decided to read it, or more so, read something that I don't normally read. Now, I'm glad I did, because this book is quite good, and I was surprised to see that MG is not that bad, even though there is no romance in it. Maybe it was even refreshing not having romance as a focus, and let alone w
Reading is my Escape
Piper, a young girl with a talent for fixing mechanical things, finds Anna (a young girl with amnesia who needs her help) and together they take the 401 train trying to escape the man pursuing them. There they meet Gee, a boy who can transform into a dragon and who might be able to help them.

Piper is smart, brave and mechanically inclined, who could ask for a better heroine. She is alone and barely scraping by until she finds Anna in the meteor field (each meteor shower brings items from other w
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was GREAT. I loved the steampunk side to it. READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a fun read.
Loved the idea of a place where other worlds lost items come to the Merrow, and a lot of creative ideas. Exciting for any of the targeted age range.
Kat Heckenbach
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because of that cover! That dragonfly! I kept reading because I found a great, spunky main character in an unusual story world (a bit dystopian, a bit steampunk). Piper is an orphan, and a scrapper--someone who picks up scrap from this spot outside town where meteors from other worlds land and drop all sorts of items. She's also got a knack for fixing machines. One day, she finds a girl near the meteor site, a girl who is in big trouble, and Piper steps up and helps her. In ...more
Victoria W.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
As usual I received this book through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion.

Nervously optimistic is an odd way to start any book and yet that is the best way to describe my feelings as I dove into Jaleigh Johnson's The Mark of the Dragonfly.

Johnson's novel follows a young, orphaned scrapper by the name of Piper who's fighting to survive on the edge of the meteor field. One day, Piper learns that meteors may not be the most dangerous thing in her hometown as a mysterious girl lands at her
Isa Lavinia

3.5 stars

arc provided by Delacorte Books for Young Readers through Netgalley

Piper lives in Scrap Town number 16, one of the many Scrap Towns littered across the Merrow Kingdom, where scrappers gather to wait for dangerous meteor storms. These storms, in flurries of deadly dust, rain down marvellous objects - objects from other worlds - and there is money to be made trading these artifacts, machines and trinkets.

Piper's father died in a factory in Noveen, the capital city, while trying to make
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Mark of the Dragonfly was a vivid trip into an alternate steampunkish world. Written from a child's perspective, The Mark of the Dragonfly is a kid safe adventure for all ages to enjoy.

Piper is orphaned in a Meteor pelted scrapper town. Struggling to survive by her scavenging and mechanical works, she is unexpectedly pulled into a world of treachery and betrayal.

Johnson brilliantly writes and marvelously conveys the inner workings of a child's mind. Battling for survival, coming to terms wit
Joshua Whiting
This review was posted on

Piper is an orphaned but resourceful scrapper in the toxic meteor fields of the territories, where remains of treasures from another world crash to earth. She has a knack for finding things and fixing them. When Piper finds an injured, mysterious girl in the meteor fields, with no memory but tattooed with the mark of the royal family, they hop a mighty steam train and set off on a cross-country adventure to escap
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
The Mark of the Dragonfly is a great book, full of adventure, fantasy, and friendship. The world of Solace, created by Jaleigh Johnson, is fascinating – there is so much going on that I really want to explore it in many future books to come. This book follows Piper and Anna as they flee a man on the 401 train, where they befriend the crew and discover secrets about themselves. I loved the quirky friendship between the two girls, and how they grew to care for each other – it was really sweet. And ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I was torn between giving this 3 stars and 4, so I split the difference. (If only Goodreads offered a half-star option!)

This was a great fantasy, steampunk-lite book. My biggest complaint is that I felt like the characters were MUCH older than their designated ages (13). They acted, spoke and behaved like older teens (except for Anna, who was fine as is). I would have definitely preferred if they had been presented as 16-17 instead of 13. I's a weird thing to nitpick, but it
Holly Mueller
I was swept up in this adventure fantasy and didn't want it to stop. In this futuristic society, Piper is a scrapper with a talent for fixing machines in Scrap Town Number Sixteen in the Merrow Kingdom. She watches for whatever storms bring from other worlds that would be worth selling at the trade markets. What she doesn't expect to find is a girl. A girl with the dragonfly tattoo, which means she's from the Dragonfly Territory, and she's protected by the king. Unfortunately, she doesn't rememb ...more
Savannah W
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Is this another world? Where people may have their own special thing? I enjoyed reading this adventure-ous book because of the details and adventures I was taken on. It is truly one to be read by fantasy fans and people who are looking for adventures in books. I dont mean to over use "adventure" but for real, you go from being in a town, to on a train with a couple of new friends on the way, involving bad guys and good ones. Trust me, its way more interesting than that. Future readers who are i ...more
The Library Lady
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
They are comparing this to The City of Ember, and I hope that gets kids to read this, but I liked this one a lot better. This has elements of fantasy, dystopia and just plain old adventure, and it works.

I just sincerely hope that this is NOT the start of a trilogy or a ten book series. While I liked "Ember", I was not fond of its followups. This one ended beautifully, and I hope Johnson instead moves onto something else......
Kalena W
I read this book in very early 2017 and from what I can remember this book was phenomenal and so worth reading. This book to me is definitely 10/5 stars.

From what I remember this book is a lot like The Sea of Ink And Gold trilogy, but just written better? In the first book of the Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy, it was a little hard to understand but this book mastered its story brilliantly. It also reminds me of The Lunar Chronicles series, so this by itself is a good sign. This book should be rea
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderful, lovely fantasy for kids! Piper is a machinist, collecting debris from the meteors in a scrap town and repairing them. When her friend goes out in a storm and she goes out to rescue him, she finds more than she bargained for - a girl named Anna. A man who Anna fears is chasing her so Piper helps her to escape and together they have quite an adventure! I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely great middle grade steampunk book. It does have a slow start, but picks up steam (quite literally) when the main character boards a train. The majority of the action of the book happens on and around that train. The main plot line follows two young women, something quite lacking in much of MG and YA fiction. Their "sister-ish" tale is the heart of the story and what carries us forward in the book. This was one of my favorite reads of 2014 to-date.
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How good this book is. 1 1 Dec 14, 2018 10:10AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA/Fantasy Where 'Scrapper' Girl sneaks onto a train. Spoilers. [s] 4 29 Dec 23, 2017 04:25PM  
What do you think? 2 4 Jan 22, 2016 03:55PM  

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Other books in the series

World of Solace (3 books)
  • The Secrets of Solace (World of Solace, #2)
  • The Quest to the Uncharted Lands (World of Solace, #3)