Book Review: The Mesmer Menace: Gadgets and Gears, Book One by Kersten Hamilton

The Mesmer Menace: Gadgets and Gears is the first book in a new series for middle grade reader written by Kersten Hamilton and illustrations by James Hamilton.  The Amazing Automated Inn is home of twelve-year-old inventor Wally Kennewickett, his genius scientist parents, his dashing dog Noodles, and a pair of snobby cousins. There is a lightning harvester on the roof and labs full of experiments in the dungeon. The inn is the perfect place for a curious boy and his loyal dog to live. Then President Theodore Roosevelt himself calls the elder Kennewicketts away, leaving Wally and Noodles to face the evil Mesmers, the horrible hypnotists bent on controlling the minds of powerful people who the adults are away trying to stop. 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!

The Mesmer Menace: Gadgets and Gears is a fun and inventive book told from the perspective of a dachshund. Wally is a young genius with inventions and plans of his own when the President arrives with a plot brewing and great need of help from his family. I love that the family is very different, since everyone is pretty much a genius, but you can still feel the love they have for each other. Noodles is a dog on a mission- the protection and support of young Wally while doing his best to keep the amazing inn and world in order as well. While some of the story's features might not seem new (the intrepid genius, evil plot to take over the world,  and a need for saving the day) might not seem new, I think that the story comes together in a way that is new and exciting for readers. The narrator being a dog might turn off some readers, or make it hard for some to connect with the characters, I found Noodle's voice to be a charming feature of the story. I think the master villain and some of the final confrontation scenes, as well as the cast of automatons and Noodle's unique voice made the novel stand out as something a bit special. I am interested to see where the series goes from here.

The Mesmer Menace: Gadgets and Gears was a middle grade novel that I really enjoyed. It was not the best book I have read; but is was fresh, fun, and a quick read. It was interesting to see a book take on a steampunk like feel for the middle grade set. I think many reluctant readers might just find this series something that could draw them into the reading fold.

Post a Comment