The Nine Pound Hammer

The Nine Pound Hammer

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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Drawn by the lodestone his father gave him years before, twelve-year-old orphan Ray travels south, meeting along the way various characters from folklore who are battling against an evil industry baron known as the Gog.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2009
ISBN: 9780375855641
9780375955648
9780375855658
Branch Call Number: BEMIS
Characteristics: 357 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: 9 pound hammer

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JCLChrisK Aug 14, 2013

If I hadn't given so many other books four stars today in my flurry of reviews (catching up with my vacation reads) I might have given this four instead of three. I'll qualify my rating to a three point five. --- This is an interesting and engaging fantasy steeped in Americana, which is a nice change of pace from the many excellent fantasy stories that are so strongly British. Start with this example: the legendary John Henry didn't die from overexertion while proving that manpower beats steam, he was a rambling protector of the people and land who died while fighting and destroying the mechanical beast created by the evil Gog, who wants to conquer the land and build an empire. The themes are the same, but the journey is much more magical and heroic. --- Orphaned Ray learns the truth first about John Henry then about the entire affiliation of Ramblers, American myths who were secretly much more than their legends imply, while wandering the wild countryside in the hopes of finding clues about his missing dad. He takes up with a train-traveling sideshow of odd performers, and finds he feels at home with them despite their almost magical abilities. The longer he stays, the more secrets he learns, including about his dad and himself. The older generation of Ramblers may be dead or scattered, but the Gog is still out there and it might be time for a new generation to take up the fight.
---
The narrative gets a bit rambling at times, but it's an exciting adventure.

JCLChrisK Aug 14, 2013

If I hadn't given so many other books four stars today in my flurry of reviews (catching up with my vacation reads) I might have given this four instead of three. I'll qualify my rating to a three point five. --- This is an interesting and engaging fantasy steeped in Americana, which is a nice change of pace from the many excellent fantasy stories that are so strongly British. Start with this example: the legendary John Henry didn't die from overexertion while proving that manpower beats steam, he was a rambling protector of the people and land who died while fighting and destroying the mechanical beast created by the evil Gog, who wants to conquer the land and build an empire. The themes are the same, but the journey is much more magical and heroic. --- Orphaned Ray learns the truth first about John Henry then about the entire affiliation of Ramblers, American myths who were secretly much more than their legends imply, while wandering the wild countryside in the hopes of finding clues about his missing dad. He takes up with a train-traveling sideshow of odd performers, and finds he feels at home with them despite their almost magical abilities. The longer he stays, the more secrets he learns, including about his dad and himself. The older generation of Ramblers may be dead or scattered, but the Gog is still out there and it might be time for a new generation to take up the fight.
---
The narrative gets a bit rambling at times, but it's an exciting adventure.

JCLChristiH Jun 08, 2013

The children of famous American folk figures like John Henry are trying to defeat an evil industrial baron know as the Gog and his menacing mechanical monsters.

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RobertELPL Mar 06, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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