The Nine Pound Hammer Reviews


The Nine Pound Hammer is a rare delight — a truly fresh approach to magic and adventure. It offers a fearsome adversary, a dynamic young hero, and a fascinatingly diverse cast of supporting characters; the roots of its mythos go deep into history and folklore but never drag the action down. My 9-year-old son loved it, and so did I.”   ~ R.J. Anderson, author of the Faery Rebels series

“A steampunk collision of heroes, mermaids, pirates, and good old-fashioned Americana…Bemis’ debut will shock and amaze.”
~ Booklist

“A unique way of creating fantasy…Fascinating.”
~ School Library Journal

“A compelling fantasy using the tall tales of the American South and frontier.”
~ Kirkus Reviews

“Shows a new direction that middle grade/young adult fiction is heading in…an adventure story taking place in the 19th century South where swamps, nearly endless forests, and very odd but interesting people tend to rule. Bemis peels back myths to reveal an alternative reality, a world of powerful yet secretive Ramblers and the Gog’s demonic agents.”
~ Maine Humanities Council (read the full review at Maine Humanities Council.)

“The book gives a fascinating and magical view of America as a wondrous place, where the tall tales have hints of being real…what The Nine Pound Hammer did for me was to bring alive American myth…This book reflects the country back at itself, showing the characters larger than life. These characters are being placed in a position to do amazing things, and I think book 1 of the Clockwork Dark was simply setting the stage.”
~ Mur Lafferty, (Read the full review at

“A creative, richly developed fantasy…The vulnerability of the children (who are invested and determined but largely woefully unprepared) is as deftly handled as the rollicking, fast-paced adventure plot, and readers will likely leave as thoughtful about the weight of parental heroism on these children as they are satisfied by the sometimes funny, frequently perilous path they follow.”
~ The Bulletin of the Benter for Children’s Books

“Full of action, adventure and mystery and explores folklore that is truly American.”
~The Herald Sun

“A great big mash-up of magic, monsters, pirates, circuses, American folklore and steampunk.”
~ The Bookbag

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Reader Raves

“This is one of the best books I have ever read!”
~ Anna (high school student from Edinburgh, Scotland)

“Fighting, medicine shows, and pirates all in one book. There is not much that The Nine Pound Hammer can do to get much better.”
~ Adam (6th grade student)

“I am craving more! You are the author of my favorite book! I can hardly explain to you how much of an impact this book had on my schedule. All I did was read.”
~ Evan (elementary school student from North Carolina)

“If you like magic and adventure this book is definitely for you as it has plenty of both.”
~ Amber (student from England)

“I can’t wait for the next one to come out!”
~ Harlan (middle school student from New Jersey)

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