The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis
(The Clockwork Dark, Book 1)

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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, defenders of the wild, including the son of John Henry. They are hiding the last of the mythical Swamp Sirens from an ancient evil known as the Gog. Why the Gog wants the Siren, they can’t be sure, but they know it has something to do with rebuilding a monstrous machine that John Henry gave his life destroying years before, a machine that will allow the Gog to control the will of men and spread darkness throughout the world.

From the Hardcover edition.

About John Claude Bemis

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JOHN CLAUDE BEMIS is the author of the Clockwork Dark, a fantasy-steampunk trilogy composed of The Nine Pound Hammer, The Wolf Tree, and The White City. His books have been described as "original and fresh" and "a unique way of creating fantasy." John lives with his wife and daughter in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Visit John's website at
Published August 19, 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 370 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Nine Pound Hammer

Kirkus Reviews

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Set in the period after the Civil War, this first in a series provides a compelling fantasy using the tall tales of the American South and frontier.

Jul 15 2009 | Read Full Review of The Nine Pound Hammer (The Cl...

BC Books

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John Claude Bemis obviously knows and loves American tall tales, and he brings that passion and knowledge to The Nine Pound Hammer, the first novel of what is supposed to be a quintet of fantasy novels for the juvenile crowd.

Nov 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Nine Pound Hammer (The Cl...

Arlington Public Library

I think that the author did a great job writing the book but could definitely use some improvements, but all in all this book was hard to put down and one of the best books I've ever read.

Nov 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Nine Pound Hammer (The Cl...

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