Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Mesmer Menace by Kersten Hamilton (review)

The Mesmer Menace (Gadgets and Gears, #1) 
Gadgets and Gears: The Mesmer Menace (1)
By Kersten Hamilton 
Illustrated by James Hamilton
Genre: Youth, Middle Grade, Steampunk, Adventure
Published November 2013
 Pages: 144
Publisher: Clarion Books

Summary:  "Welcome to the Amazing Automated Inn, home of twelve-year-old inventor Wally Kennewickett, his genius scientist parents, and his dashing dog, Noodles. From the lightning harvester on the roof to the labs full of experiments in the dungeon, the inn is a wonderful place for a curious boy and his loyal dog to live. That is, until President Theodore Roosevelt himself calls the elder Kennewicketts away, leaving Wally and Noodles to face the evil Mesmers, horrible hypnotists bent on controlling the minds of powerful people. It seems the inn is their first stop on the way to world domination . . . and only an ingenious boy, a staff of automatons, and a brave dachshund stand in their way!" -Taken from Goodreads
Review:  This book is great for the kids. Adventure from a dogs perspective! Through in some science and steampunk and a dachshund's best friend and we get The Mesmer Menace!

When I first started this I was pleasantly surprised to be getting the story through Noodles' eyes. Very unique and fun and lighthearted. The President presents himself to the Kennewickett family for assistance. Yet while the adults are away Noodle's and his human, Wally have their own villian they must stop!

Each character is very unique. Noodle is hilarious! I love getting the story from his perspective. This book is very inventive, both in it's creation and what steampunk devices it contains. The pictures are nicely done and fit in quite nicely to the story.

For me, the biggest drawback is it seems VERY geared to the younger ages. While geared toward middle grade readers, the style is more akin to a chapter book for late elementary. The pictures, while I enjoyed them only add to this. Not a challenging read by any means. Yet still very enjoyable.

This book could be a great intro book for new readers looking for something different. A great intro into the steampunk genre for out youth!

This book was given to me for review by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group via Netgalley. Special thanks to them for this opportunity. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.


  1. This looks like a great intro to the steampunk genre! I like the unique perspective from the dog's POV :)

    1. It is a great book for 4-7th graders especially for steampunk intros.

  2. The characters sound fun


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