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The League of Seven #3

The Monster War

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The Monster War is the third book in the action-packed, steampunk League of Seven series by acclaimed author Alan Gratz. Having discovered the monstrous secret of his origins, Archie Dent is no longer certain that he is worthy to be a member of the League of Seven. But with new enemies to face, he realizes that he may not have the luxury of questioning his destiny. Wielding the Dragon Lantern, the maniacal Philomena Moffett has turned her back on the Septemberist Society, creating her own Shadow League and unleashing a monster army on the American continent. Archie and his friends must race to find the last two members of their league in time to thwart Moffett's plan and rescue humanity once more. "A fitting capstone to an epic adventure replete with monsters, huge explosions, clever twists, and just deserts." - Kirkus Reviews

336 pages, Hardcover

Published July 12, 2016

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About the author

Alan Gratz

42 books3,165 followers
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 Rights Honor. Refugee was also a Global Read Aloud Book for 2018.

Alan’s novel Grenade debuted at number three on the New York Times bestseller list, and his most recent book, Allies, debuted at number two on the list and received four starred reviews. His other books include Prisoner B-3087, which was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Readers pick and winner of eight state awards; Projekt 1065, a Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book of 2016 and winner of five state awards; Code of Honor, a YALSA Quick Pick for Young Readers; and Ban This Book, which was featured by Whoopi Goldberg on The View.

Alan has traveled extensively to talk about his books, appearing at schools and book festivals in 39 states and a half-dozen countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, and Switzerland, and has been a Writer in Residence at Tokyo’s American School in Japan, the James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio, and the Jakarta Intercultural School in Indonesia.

Alan was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the 1982 World’s Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and, later, a Master’s degree in English education. He now lives with his family in Asheville, North Carolina, where he enjoys playing games, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, reading books.

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5 stars
98 (46%)
4 stars
63 (30%)
3 stars
37 (17%)
2 stars
6 (2%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Angie.
3,624 reviews44 followers
November 14, 2016
Archie Dent is still reeling from the revelations about his origins. He doesn't want to be a hero with the League of Seven anymore, he just wants to curl up in a corner and stay there. Mr. Rivets is having none of that and purposefully gets Archie kidnapped so he can figure out who is taking homeless children off the streets. Archie meets Gonzalo, who is a blind Texas Ranger, and who carries a talking ray gun. Archie realizes Gonzalo is the law bringer for the League of Seven and through their adventures he also recruits their scientist Martine. Now all seven members have been identified and they must come together to defeat Philomena Moffett and the Dragon Lantern before she turns the whole world into manglespawn.

I think this is a fun steampunk adventure series. I love the alternative history where America is a conglomeration of tribal states, mostly Native American, and where lektricity is the root of all evil in the world. I think the League of Seven is a fascinating idea and was really glad we finally met all seven. It was a bit disappointing that they kept splitting up for most of the adventures in this book, but at least they were all there for the big final battle. I will admit to becoming a bit bored with Archie's moaning and groaning about his origins. Sure it added character depth, but it got old pretty quickly as all pouting does. I actually found Martine and Gonzalo pretty interesting and wish they would have been in the series more than just this final book. Martine in particular did not get nearly enough backstory or page time. Overall it was a satisfying end to a fun series.
Profile Image for Hannah Belyea.
2,011 reviews33 followers
June 7, 2019
Archie has learned the horrific truth about his origins, but he must continue his search for the final members of the League of Seven and band his friends together to stop an army of monsters from rising - before he completely loses himself to their influences. Gratz brings this dark adventure to a fitting close that is sure to keep fans reading past dark. Can seven talented kids really stand against such an ancient force?
Profile Image for Alex.
785 reviews34 followers
October 13, 2017
Archie Dent is a monster. A monster lives inside Archie Dent. A monster is tearing her way across the country turning ordinary people into twisted terrible creatures. Monsters are starting to wake, ancient beasts who have broken the world. A Monster War is brewing, and Archie Dent is one of seven people who can stop it, or at least contain it. With the last two members joining us the League of Seven is complete and they are ready to fight. A great book and honestly I hope this author keeps going with this series, I would love a transcontinental story where they go over to Europe. For those who read the first two and want to see how it ends.
I love this series and cannot wait to read the fourth book. I was able to get an advanced reader’s copy of this book through my work. I will try to give a summary without giving away too much.

Archie is moping, and only Mr. Rivets, a free robot, knows how to get him out of his funk and realize that the league of seven needs him. Philomena is on a warpath carving her way from one coast to another seeking revenge for her childhood. We finally get to meet the rest of the league of seven and how they all fit together as well as learn about the different types of people who live around this alternative history America.

Can these seven heroes fight an entire monster army? Will they be able to keep Archie from losing himself again? A great read, a very fun series, if you have read the other two you will really enjoy this one as well.
Profile Image for Katelyn.
7 reviews
January 5, 2018
What the hell was with that last page??? After all the growth Archie went through, he's right back to thinking he's not good enough to stand with his friends?? I really hope this isn't the last book because it would absolutely break my heart to end with Archie still feeling this way about himself. After all he's been though, after all his friends (literally) fought with him to make him see that what you are doesn't make you a monster, it's what you choose to do with your life that define you as a hero or a villain.

I love this series and these characters far too much to be left with such a bitter and disappointing ending like this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Oriole437.
6 reviews
September 19, 2022
I liked this book. The world development in this series is absolutely beautiful. All the different characters with different backgrounds and personalities were refreshing to see. There was a character for everyone who reads this to relate to. Archie not being the hero, not being the main character of this world provided a very interesting story.
That being said, this was definitely a YA book. The plot felt a little basic and a little less thought out than the last two. Martine and Gonzalo joined the League with almost no resistance. They just kind of joined the team for no real reason other than being near Archie. Speaking of Archie, the others did him badly in the end. [Minor spoilers] Archie didn't lose control or betray them once in this book, and yet they still went behind him. When he finds out and reasonably cracks, they guilt trip him into stopping. It felt kind of unfair.
[Spoilers over] Overall, this was a pretty good book but not life-changing. The characters were fun and the world-building was expertly done, but the plot was a little basic, and very little went above and beyond.
395 reviews2 followers
September 6, 2017
The much anticipated finale (maybe) for The League of Seven series. (Mr. Gratz shared he was interested in continuing it, if the publisher showed an interest. . .) I love how Mr. Gratz has taken an old folktale and spun off of it, modernized it, and tossed it into a funky alt-world steampunk setting. It's an entertaining series that he builds well. Like all his work, Mr. Gratz knows the importance of any book is its heart, and he does an outstanding job of getting the reader emotionally invested in it. This is book's great fun, and while it may stand alone, it's certainly best if you've read the first two. You'll have a tough time putting it down.
Profile Image for papasteve.
615 reviews7 followers
April 16, 2020
They say, love conquers all. They say, perfect love casts out fear. They say, love makes the world go round. That could be what it’s all about. For my money, I’d say a close knit fellowship of friends, the kind of friends who have your back always and will go down fighting by your side, is what makes life worth it. Especially when the world throws monsters at you that seem undefeatable, and it’s your fellowship of friends, standing with you rather than running away—that’s living. And that is what this trilogy of books is about.
747 reviews
November 5, 2021
Pro: innovative world building (steampunk 1877 "United Nations of America" mostly composed of Native Nations), well delineated characters.

Con: plotting. Maybe it's because I'm listening to a podcast about Harry Potter, and am immersed in Rowling's brilliant, intricate plot construction, but this just didn't come together for me. The villain and the ending were especially weak.

Both?: I found the endless battle scenes tedious. I'm sure kids won't, but as with a lesser Rick Riordan work, the individual creatures all started to blend together by the end.
Profile Image for Theo.
13 reviews
January 6, 2017
I'm assuming everyone here has read all of them ok now go
Imagine the lueage going and trying to reclaim eroupe and the entire old world
I cans see it now splitting into two groups first stoping the waves somehow and being able to get across then one group starting from Afika and anouther starting from Scotland I'm thinking a whole new series using Scotland as a base and slaying monsters to RETAKE THR OLD WORLD ARE YOU GUYS WITH ME?!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Royal Hinshaw.
13 reviews
September 8, 2018
Enjoyable conclusion (for now?) to the series. Enjoyed all the new characters, but wished we were able to spend more time with them. That ending felt a bit rushed. I hope there will be more with this series, these characters, and this world. I picked these up for my daughter (who was about 10 at the time) but enjoyed it very much myself.
Profile Image for Andrea.
1,174 reviews15 followers
November 25, 2018
Great alternate history! Jesse James, Harriet Tubman, the Battle of Gettysburg and more all as part of an adventure go save the world from ancient monsters. Throw in a dose of identity questions and you have a fun boom that makes you think hard. This book isn’t just for kids.
3 reviews
January 7, 2020
Just like the the two other books in the series i really enjoyed it. There are finally all seven league members and the team up to defeat Philomena Mophet. This book is very good and action packed threw the whole book i would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the previous two.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Peter.
6 reviews2 followers
November 20, 2019
I think it was a good book that mostly led up to expectations.
It was a great ending to the series, but I would still like there to be a fourth book.
Overall, it was a great and interesting novel.
1 review
January 14, 2021
It was honestly one of my favorite books and I'd highly suggest it to anyone who wants to.
602 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2022
I might have liked it better if I'd know when I started it that it was the third in a series.
Profile Image for Alicia.
166 reviews25 followers
September 22, 2022
Plot was a little choppy but I liked all the characters. Pretty dark at times for a middle grade book.
Profile Image for Patrick.
1,027 reviews24 followers
September 26, 2016
It's good. I really like the overarching themes of transparency and choice in who you become. The monsters and action were fun too. I continue to love the various Native American tribes that make up the United Nations in this alternate history. I also love the reassigning of historical figures to new, interesting roles. Archie's difficulties and the particular traps set for him in the book were also very interesting.

However, the plot was a little too cute and fast in a few spots. The League kicked butt all over the place and resolved the opposing league, which was kind of cliche too, and the final conflict with Philomena Moffett wasn't completely satisfying. I am not completely able to articulate why. I thought she was a cool character with interesting history and motivation. Everything just seemed to rush and resolve too quickly and too easily--both the final plot by Moffett and the confrontation with the Septemberist leaders who had secretly done bad things in the name of their cause. I think the story just needed more in New Rome with those two events. Not another book, but 50 more pages.

Anyway, it's a cool series with fun characters that seems mostly aimed at like grades 5-8, but it features dark events like people sacrificed and experimented on in the name of power. So I'm not quite sure how and who to recommend this to.

It kind of seems like the book wraps things up, but there is definitely room for more. Let's get mass mobilization for the cause in the new open era of information, like what happened in New Orleans in book 2, and let's save the rest of the world, or at least start.
1 review
October 19, 2016
There's a battle brewing between people that are mostly humans and people that are mostly monsters. The Monster War by Alan Gratz is the third book in the League of Seven series. The author introduces new characters in a way that is revolutionary. This book includes foreshadowing on such a large scale that it could make one question if the whole series was planned out from the beginning. For example it can be confusing why Gonzalo pointed señor x at Archie until near the end when everything comes together. And the story telling was phenomenal. For example during one of the final battles the way it is described could make one feel as if they were really there. And the dialogue in this book makes the characters feel so real it is simply amazing. Such as in the beginning of the book the way the characters interact through dialogue just makes it that much more interesting. Overall this book is amazing and could be recommended to almost any fan of steampunk and or fantasy.
Profile Image for Confused Hamburger.
288 reviews22 followers
September 13, 2022
While reading this, I realised something about Alan Gratz as an author. I do not like his writing style, but his ideas are good and interesting. This is clear from this book, as I at first did not like it, but I ended up liking it at the end, when the ideas had progressed and had been explored thoroughly. I honestly wanted a sequel to be written after I had finished the book, and this does not often happen with me with finished series, as I have other books to get to.
Martine's character I at first found annoying, as she was your stereotypical genius character who doesn't know how to interact in society (eg. Sherlcok Holmes from "Sherlock"). Then, at the end of the book, I was fine with her.
In conclusion, this is a pretty good book and Alan Gratz has interesting ideas, but he doesn't have a writing style that I personally enjoy, so I don't see myself picking up any more of his books in the near future.
Profile Image for Teresa Osgood.
Author 3 books3 followers
December 13, 2016
While Archie mopes around because of his newfound true identity, his increasingly independently-thinking machine man sends him out to do some good in the world. By so doing, Archie meets the very intriguing final members of the League of Seven, and gathers the will to end the Monster War that has been sweeping across the United Nations. More fun with alternate history , more opportunities for heroism, forgiveness, and change. Quite satisfying.
Profile Image for Daryl.
570 reviews5 followers
September 6, 2016
Definitely the weakest of the series for me. It began to feel more and more like Gratz just wanted to pull in some representative of every culture or mythology or steam punk doodad he could think of, and for me this rendered it a real mess. I like the series and enjoyed reading it with my kids, but was glad to turn the last page of this installment.
Profile Image for Chris.
38 reviews
November 10, 2016
"The Monster War" is an awesome ending to a fun trilogy. You can't really go wrong with ninja robots, giant monsters, superpowers, and steampunk blended together in a rollicking adventure. I only wish there were another trilogy set in the same world coming along. Here's hoping it will happen someday.
Profile Image for michelle.
858 reviews23 followers
July 24, 2016
This was the best of all 3 books. I completely couldn't put this one down. It didn't have as much of the backstory to tell and only needed to add two additional leaguers, but it was more cohesive than the other books. I loved the whole series, but this was my favorite.
Profile Image for Dennis Sison.
27 reviews
September 16, 2016
This was a nice (if a bit abrupt) end to a great three book series. The second novel is my favorite by a whisker. But I found myself chuckling and re-reading passages from this one quite a bit. As a whole, I recommend this series for kids 10-99, well done, Mr. Gratz.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,318 reviews41 followers
October 20, 2016
This was a disappointment as a series ender. It moved slow in the beginning and then seemed rushed at the end. I also got rather annoyed with Archie. Glad to have wrapped it up, but could have finished stronger.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
40 reviews
January 11, 2017
Not a fan of the content myself - ended up flipping through the entire trilogy just to see what happens after reading the first part of book one. I also must agree with another reviewer that I would seriously question many aspects of this book as being appropriate for middle schoolers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews

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