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The League of Seven

(The League of Seven #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  796 ratings  ·  140 reviews
The launch of a middle grade fantasy trilogy set in an alternate 1870s America, where electricity is a dangerous and forbidden science, Native Americans and Yankees live side-by-side as a United Nations, and eldritch evil lurks in the shadows beyond the gaslights...

Young Archie Dent knows there really are monster in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist So
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Starscape
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Confused Hamburger Random question to ask but I guess you choose what's best for your story and what suits best with your introduction and also whether you would continu…moreRandom question to ask but I guess you choose what's best for your story and what suits best with your introduction and also whether you would continue reading the story with that hook.(less)

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  796 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Joe Santoro
I grabbed this off the shelf the other day when helping my middle daughter look for something to read... steam punk and the intriguing alternate history setting got me interested, so we grabbed it.

She seems to have since lost interest, but I gave it a shot. It tries just a bit too hard to do everything. The author says he took everything he thought was cool when he was 10 and added it all it, and that, sadly is the truth. There's just too much going on, none of it will. The steampunk element co
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very fun YA steam punk. It had a great alternate history, and I can't wait to see where it goes next. ...more
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Alan Gratz is just a great storyteller. I have yet to read a bad book by him. This book is a great beginning to a series, weaving together steampunk and an alternate history. The characters are believable, and the storyline is intriguing. This is a really good middle grade novel. Actually, it is a really good novel that happens to be for middle grade!
Jun 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Steampunk fans
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, Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times. Sometimes when I read a book so spectacular and amaz
Bill Tillman
Chump, chump, chump! What a blast, a stupendous 12 year old's steampunk novel. Archie Dent, Fergus McFerguson, and Hachi plus Mr. Rivets a mechanical wind-up man. Their first adventure is a fast paced death defying chase down the eastern seaboard to Florida. The head villain is Thomas Edison who wants to release the Swarm Queen. A monster that cannot be killed and she has captured Archie's parents. Oh one more thing Edison has turned Fergus into an electrostatic computer. ...more
Amy Ariel
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-challenge
The content does not seem appropriate for a middle grade book.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
round two!

Love this book, and I will continue to periodically search this author in the hopes that he continues this series, however he wants to do that, prequels, sequels, other times, lands, myths, I will read it. Fun and action packed this is a book set in an alternative America, steampunk, magic, machines, and monsters. We follow Archie into the secret headquarters of the Septemberist Society and he is thrust headfirst into adventure. A monster is being woken up, it has the power to control
JG (Introverted Reader)
It's 1875 and Archie Dent's parents belong to The Septemberists, a society dedicated to remembering the damage caused by monsters called the Mangleborn and to preventing them from rising again to destroy civilization. On a routine trip to the Septemberist headquarters, the older Dents are taken over by Manglespawn, children of a Mangleborn, and forced to Florida where one of the monsters is trying to break free. Archie and his family servant, a tik tok man named Mr. Rivets, try to save the Dents ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I decided to read this book since the author is coming to the Winston-Salem Bookmarks festival this coming September. This is a steampunk novel for young adults set in a reimagined United Nations of America. I got around 1/2 way into the book before deciding to stop. As an adventure novel for young teens it's probably fine, but for me it just wasn't all that compelling. Also I couldn't get over the idea that the robots that used punch cards for their programming were basically sentient beings. T ...more
A very fun adventure! I really enjoyed the twist that the author put on his alternate universe and the characters were very likable. Any middle grade, tween, young adult or adult would enjoy this story. I look forward to the next in the series. This is one that I will be handing over to my own kids to read.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
There was so much I loved about this book--the depth of the main character, the familiar things and themes that popped up in unexpected ways, and the smart, fast-paced plot. I'm excited to see it with Helquist's illustrations--he's one of my favorites. Definitely one I will recommend to adventure-seeking kids. ...more
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
This romp through an alternate nineteenth century steampunk America is jammed packed with secrets, monsters, clockwork contraptions, and heroic kids. First in a planned series, and I can't wait for the next installment. ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a fun yarn! It's nonstop action, with a dose of humor and a lot of heart, set in an alternative 1870s steampunk America. ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was a major let down...
There was no main theme and nothing you could take away from the book. Practically all of it was details that made no sense.
Apr 02, 2020 marked it as to-read-own
4/2/20 $2.99 for Kindle
K Gover
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Caldwell
In a world where electricity causes monsters to awaken, seven heroes will come together to fight them. This cycle keeps happening and it time for another league of seven to rise and fight the monsters.

Steampunk is one of those interesting subgenres. It has a really cool look but it is hard to make it come off without sounding like you just made stuff up and said because it uses steam it will work this way now. Most of the steampunk stories I have come across have tried to way overexplain stuff (
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the midst of any crisis you find out what you are made of. It takes the crisis. You can’t discover your true self without it. But you can’t go looking for a crisis for that to happen. You can’t make a crisis happen to make you happen. It’s got to be bigger, badder and more evil than anything you could imagine or put together. It has to be totally other, and it has to be, in your mind, undefeatable. That’s when you find out what you’re made of. To find out if you are unbreakable. To find out i ...more
C.C. Berke
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I just finished part one of this trilogy today. 13 year old me would have loved this book. Hell, 29 year old me liked it too.

Alan Gratz does a tremendous job with world building and setting up what kinds of things you'd expect to happen in that world. League is set in the 1800s but he has clever nods at today's internet, skyscrapers, and even video games. He even adds some great Lovecraftian (a personal favorite of mine) themes throughout.

For parents wondering about this book, there are some min
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book 3/15 for EBoB 2019-2020: This book took me a while to get into, because I got very caught up in the alternate world being created at the beginning. There was a lot of set up, and it was almost as if I had to learn another language in order to understand what was going on. However, as the action developed, I found myself being drawn into the story, and I very much liked the historical reimagining of Thomas Edison as an evil scientific genius. I also enjoyed the mystery that underlined the wh ...more
C.J. Milbrandt
Archie lives in a world powered by steam and clockworks, the only son of members in a secret organization who are quietly fighting against an alien threat known as the Mangleborn. They're on the rise, which means it's time for the next iteration of the fabled League of Seven to emerge. Seven individuals, each uniquely skilled, must band together and stop the escape of a Mangleborn queen.

Fascinating world-building! This is set in a North America where colonization was interrupted, so society is
Katie Pink
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Steampunk for middle school?! Yes please! The League of Seven is a fast paced, thrilling adventure in an alternate America, where steam power is the only power and “lectricity” isn’t a thing. And, as you find out, for very good reasons. Grantz creates some fun, heroic characters who show some growth throughout the story. I had to face some rather deep seated fears of my own while reading this - and the fact that I kept going to the end is a HUGE testament to Mr. Grantz. A fabulous read! (Definit ...more
Gage Langman
Apr 06, 2020 is currently reading it
Archie Dent knows that monsters truly exist in the world because of his parents. His parents work for an organization called the Septemberist Society, and their job is to protect the population from giants know as the "Mangleborn." These "Mangleborn" have been trapped in an underground jail about a thousand years, in return, for the most part, everybody forgot about them, until they came to the surface. This has been able to happen all because of a banished scientist, using a forbidden type of e ...more
Confused Hamburger
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I started reading this book, I thought it was pretty dumb. The main character kept saying really annoying things like "clangers" and "brass" and it really got on my nerves because it was so cringey.
Another thing I wasn't a fan of was the bad guy Edison's motivation. It was extremely stupid and therefore he wasn't a believable or threatening bad guy.
Luckily, we didn't get much of those and the book instead focused on things I liked which were the main characters, the world and the plot. Thos
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Amusing to have your first experience with cyberpunk be a children's book (or perhaps second? Not fully sure about His Dark Materials, which does have airships, though I'm not sure about the other elements).

It was interesting and I'm not sure what else to say. Firsts of series are hard. I'm good with the premise and don't dislike any of the characters. The society as built has possibilities but none have been exploited. Just fighting between tribes/nations, nothing about their histories and cult
Hannah Belyea
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Archie has always known about the secret society his parents are a part of, one that keeps the truths regarding the terrifying monsters known as Mangleborn hidden - but the society has been taken over, and it's up to him and other gifted teens to save his family and stop the awakening of an ancient monstrosity. Gratz begins an electrifying adventure full of charm and wit that will keep readers glued to the pages. Archie must figure out what part he plays in the fight against the Mangleborn if he ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
While the world Gratz created was intriguing (a somewhat post-apocalyptic...or perhaps, and the Native American bent was interesting (not sure how authentic, however), the characters never really held together for me (undeveloped), and I needed more backstory more quickly to understand the basic confrontation (Mangleborn vs. Septemberists). So it was a struggle for me to stay engaged.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
League of Seven by Alan Gratz is the first book in a trilogy. It follows Archie Dent, and his adventures trying to save his parents in a world that is simultaneously more advanced and less advanced than ours. Steam is the only energy source, because electricity will wake terrible monsters. And the League of Seven is the only way to stop this. It’s a very good book, and I would recommend it to those who like both fantasy and historical fiction.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a GREAT book but hard to get into. The beginning was hard to comprehend but things got a little easier. Hard to visualize. Ends with a cliffhanger but most chapter books do. . ....... overall amazing book though.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was so pleasantly surprised by this one! It's so unlike his other books, but I think this may be my favorite Alan Gratz so far. A clever alternate steampunk history of our country with a villianous Thomas Edison and the beginnings of a misfit group of teenage heroes. I'll be recommending this to Rick Riordan fans. ...more
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Alan Gratz is the bestselling author of a number of novels for young readers. His 2017 novel Refugee has spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and is the winner of 14 state awards. Its other accolades include the Sydney Taylor Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Cybils Middle Grade Fiction Award, a Charlotte Huck Award Honor, and a Malka Penn Award for Human ...more

Other books in the series

The League of Seven (3 books)
  • The Dragon Lantern (The League of Seven, #2)
  • The Monster War (The League of Seven, #3)

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