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mesmermenaceIf you’ve been desperate for middle-grade fiction with a steampunk theme, told from a dog’s point of view, look no further! Lilah and I enjoyed GADGETS AND GEARS, the first in the series THE MESMER MENACE narrated by a dachshund named Noodles and chronicling the 1902 adventures of Wally Kennewickett in his inventor parents’ Automated Inn. Lilah was particularly delighted that Wally’s dog serves as narrator. I was skeptical at first, but Hamilton pulls it off very well and uses Noodles’s perspective as a filter to explain complicated scientific processes to younger readers.

Wally Kennewickett’s parents, brilliant inventors, are called on by Teddy Roosevelt to rescue their country from a group of mesmers who are hypnotizing key figures to their own dastardly ends. They leave the Automated Inn in the hands of Wally and the automatons who run the place. Wally must contend with his annoying, bullying cousins, who are also staying at the inn, but the stakes are raised when the mesmer menace appears at his door.

Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title courtesy of the publisher.

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