The Nine Pound Hammer

The Nine Pound Hammer What if the Legend of John Henry were than just a story Twelve year old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father who Ray swears could speak to animals On a quest to find out what happen

  • Title: The Nine Pound Hammer
  • Author: John Claude Bemis
  • ISBN: 9780375855641
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Hardcover
  • What if the Legend of John Henry were than just a story Twelve year old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father, who Ray swears could speak to animals On a quest to find out what happened to him, Ray falls in with a band of young sideshow performers traveling through the South in a rickety old train For the first time in years, Ray feels at home ButWhat if the Legend of John Henry were than just a story Twelve year old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father, who Ray swears could speak to animals On a quest to find out what happened to him, Ray falls in with a band of young sideshow performers traveling through the South in a rickety old train For the first time in years, Ray feels at home But something strange is going on From a locked train car, Ray hears hypnotic singing And the performers themselves the strong man, the fire eater, the blind sharpshooter their talents seem almost magical Ray investigates and discovers that the old stories about John Henry and Johnny Appleseed are true in ways he never would have dreamed, that an ancient evil these characters fought is rising again, and that Ray himself may have a place in new stories only now being written.In his debut novel, John Claude Bemis draws upon the rich history of America s tall tales to create a fresh and exciting middle grade fantasy adventure.

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      Published :2019-08-01T09:56:45+00:00

    1 thought on “The Nine Pound Hammer”

    1. A really neat, really new really fresh premise, merging American folklore with Clockpunk Fantasy! There's was a bit in the end battle that I felt a tad overlong (and as a result skimmed through) but it was still a very unique read. I am intrigued to read the next one, and might even see my way to re-read this again when the sequel gets published (in 2010, likely). The bits I liked the best were with Jolie, Ray, and the characters in the Ballyhoo trying to get to know one another, that is where B [...]

    2. Finally, a young adult book about American mythology! This book explores a younger America on the brink of industrialization. Many of the book’s themes involve the myth of John Henry and the costs of modernization. However, the book also covers topics that many young readers will relate to: alienation and acceptance, family conflicts, and the struggle for self-confidence, to name a few. All of this is packed into a fast-paced and exciting story that is well worth the read.

    3. Most of the book is told from the POV of Ray Cobb, an orphan of 12, with occasional flashes of omniscience, although I can't tell if these were intentional or the result of a first-time writer losing momentary control of viewpoint. This is enjoyable steampunk fantasy for a middle-grade audience, and a great way to introduce that audience to characters, such as John Henry, from the pages of America's tall tales.The premise is that those tall-tale legends were a loosely organized group called the [...]

    4. 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 wa [...]

    5. Finished this on the drive home yesterday. No, I was not behind the wheel. And only in short spurts. Can't read too many print books anymore or I get carsick.Anyway. Totally unrelated. This book I liked it. I like the characters and I think there is possibility.But I also felt like something just wasn't quite there. I found myself skimming rather than deeply reading. Some of the mythology just didn't work.So we'll see. Haven't checked yet to see if book 2 is finished (this was just an impulse [...]

    6. I was dithering between two and three stars and went on the high end. This is a children's book and it is grounded in the folk tales of America, especially some from the South. I hope in future books of the series we will see some of the heroes of the West, too. The story was a little clunky in places, and I am hoping that some of the characters who apparently died at the end are really only missing.

    7. Entertaining, but I was pissed at Conker's death. All I could think was, of COURSE the Black kid dies. They could possibly bring him back, because they never found his body, but I don't even think that would be a good idea. I did like the idea of a melting pot of mystical people coming together to make a sort of American magic.

    8. I thought this was a really fun fantasy book. I'm planning on recommending it to the fans of the Percy Jackson series that were drawn into the mythology aspect of the series- it might spark their interest in American folklore.

    9. Can't wait to read this book. I had the pleasure of having "first read" while John Bemis was writing the first of "The Clockword Dark" trilogy and it was a fun read.Looking forward to reading the completed work and the sequels.

    10. This is a fun, young adult fantasy book based on old southern folk tales. At some points, the deliberate southern fried charm wears thin. But on the whole it's enjoyable. And it inspired me to revisit some of those old stories.

    11. The Nine Pound Hammer is a fun and exciting steampunk adventure that is equal parts funny, scary, and awesome—especially the many action sequences sure to keep readers on the edge of their seat. Full confession: the Ninja is old and out of touch and has never read steampunk before now. Yes, you are right to condemn me, Esteemed Reader. But if the rest of steampunk is anywhere near as good as this book, you can bet I will be reading more. It’s a little bit difficult for me to review this book [...]

    12. This was one of those books you fly through; the words go down like spring water.One of the things I liked about it is how there isn't any explanation for why some things are as they are, they just are. It's that mindset of a child, where you just accept things. It's not a question of suspension of disbelief, either. There's a man who wears a hat that allows him to become a cloud of dandelion seeds. There's a band of pirates on a riverboat who are good to kids and a blind man who is an expert ma [...]

    13. A Y/A fantasy I've been meaning to get to for a while. A teenage boy finds himself caught up in a war between the oppressive, lawful-evil Gog and the Ramblers, who preserve the American frontier spirit. The mythos seems to mix Norse mythology (a Fenris-like wolf and a replay of Balder's death) with American folklore such as John Henry, the steel-driving man, something I hope the next two volumes explain. Overall, a winner.

    14. It was a good book and I would definitely recommend. Its also a series which I didn't know so now I have to find the other books.SPOILERI didn't like that some of the characters died at the end of the book.

    15. I reread this book so that I could finish the trilogy, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. A well-plotted, action/adventure story set in the late 1800's that includes Sirens, a blind sharpshooter, the ancestor of John Henry, and so much more that I had to barrel on to the finish.

    16. AMAZING BOOK! Totally satisfied me! I am a huge fan of the steampunk genre. But it has the feeling that Johnny Apple seed is watching you. Great Story. 10/10 would read again!

    17. An American mythological Harry Potter - GREAT STORY! Fave quote: "Having scars just means you faced something terrible and difficult, but you survived. They show that you are brave."

    18. The Nine Pound Hammer is set in a world of myths and magic. The main character, Ray Fleming, is dragged into the mysteries and adventures of this new world, uncovering secrets at each turn. I decided to read this book when my sister recommended it to me, and it was surprisingly interesting and well-written! There are very few faults that I found with this book.The book starts when Ray thinks he needs to leave his little sister. He thought that she could possibly have a better chance of finding a [...]

    19. This should be three and a half stars (I don't know why I am so perpetually annoyed by not having half stars on , but whatev).I very much liked the set-up here, American fantasy set in the late 19th century and very much drawn from actual American tropes, both mythological and real -- the rise of the railroads and steam engines and John Henry and Indians and medicine shows and bottle trees and mechanical engineering and robber barons and the Mississippi and orphan trains and more. It opens with [...]

    20. The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis is the first of the Clockwork Darkness Series. In this story, Ray and his sister, Sally, are on an orphan train headed south from New York City to place the orphans with good families. Ray, who is twelve, gets the idea that Sally would find a better family on her own than she would if they had to find a family that would be willing to take the two of them, so he jumps off the train. Uncertain about what to do, Ray wanders a bit and meets a man, Peter Ho [...]

    21. Hey! Here's the first review for The Clockwork Dark Experience. Today I'm reviewing The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis. One wordAMAZING! Here's an summary:"What if John Henry had a son? Twelve-year-old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father, whom Ray swears could speak to animals. Now an orphan, Ray jumps from a train going through the American South and falls in with a medicine show train and its stable of sideshow performers. The performers turn out to be heroes, [...]

    22. John Claude Bemis's Clockwork Dark series is our May 2011 Book Buddies selection. "Twelve-year-old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father, whom Ray swears could speak to animals. Now an orphan, Ray jumps from a train going through the American South and falls in with a medicine show train and its stable of sideshow performers. The performers turn out to be heroes, defenders of the wild, including the son of John Henry. They are hiding the last of the mythical Swamp Sirens from an [...]

    23. --Review by my 12 year old brother-- It's been eight years since Ray Cobb's dad dissapeared on a "job of work". As an orphan, Ray has had much diffuculty surviving with his younger sister Sally and fears that she won't get a proper family with Ray hanging around and decides to leave her at an orphanage. Once he leaves her, Ray has no clue what to do, and gets lost in the woods. There, he meets a young giant and an escape artist. Little did he know that meeting these two would be the start of one [...]

    24. Full disclosure: the author is a neighbor and friend, and former teacher of the eldest.Oh, but I loved this. The idea of taking American folklore as indicative of real heroes, super-heroes I guess, is genius. Remember, I loved Anne Ursu's The Shadow Thieves, The Siren Song, and The Immortal Fire. And the steampunk element here is kind of reversed: the good guys have magic and some sort of inherited genetic x factor, the bad guy is making evil machines. There are Pirate Queens and blind sharpshoo [...]

    25. Stars: 3.75 stars-----Did I like it? Yeah, it was pretty good.-----Six word summary: Gog is (view spoiler)[ defeated, Ray finds Sally.(hide spoiler)]-----Rating: PG-----Complaints: My main complaint is about the audiobook narrator. His "Ray voice" sounds like Mr. Monopoly from the 199-whatever Hasboro Monopoly Junior computer game. It was really annoying.-----Praises: Has a cool legend-y feeling. Also, the geographical transition from north-eastern US to the South was great.-----Summary: Ray and [...]

    26. I liked this book much better than I thought I would. It is touted as a "Steampunk" book and when I first began to read it I couldn't see that. But it does skirt along the edge of Steampunk and for some reason, I enjoy that genre a lot. I also like that the book incorporates American myths for a change. The characters are rather diverse but well drawn. Perhaps Ray, the progenitor, at age 12 is a little too strong and too savvy for his age but it just adds to the charm of the whole. And the story [...]

    27. Not-exactly Steampunk, this adventure tale is set in the US during the Victorian era. Between the side show acts and the root-work potents, there were plenty of ways for a band of travelling performers to ride the rails and earn a living.Bemis gives his story a bit of a supernatural twist with the performers all being children of former "Ramblers", an anonymous Justice League of their day who all disappeared after a vicious fight between the legendary John Henry and a steam-driven machine. The t [...]

    28. Published in the UK edition I read as J.C. Bemis Proudly Presents The Mystifying Medicine Show. Fun, action packed, a terrific ensemble of superheroes; both male and female and African-American (not much represented in this genre in my experience), wonderful world building, the type of book that makes you want to read up on the legend that inspire the story. American folklore meets steampunk, a sideshow peopled by the unexpected (the majority of them children of former 'Ramblers'), an ancient ev [...]

    29. What if the legend of John Henry was more than just a story? And what is really up with the machine she died trying to beat?Twelve-year-old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father, whom Ray swears could speak to animals. Now an orphan, Ray jumps from a train going through the American South and falls in with a medicine show train and its stable of sideshow performers. The performers turn out to be heroes, defenders of the wild, including the son of John Henry. They are hiding the [...]

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