Sunday, January 19, 2014

Book Review: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

The Mark of the DragonflyThe Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

The Mark of the Dragonfly is a coming of age story about a girl named Piper. Only thirteen years old, Piper lives in Scrap Town Sixteen as an orphaned "scrapper" after the recent death of her father and struggles to make a living by repairing broken machinery.

The story takes place on the planet Solace which is experiencing its own industrial revolution. As two different kingdoms, the Merrow Kingdom and the Dragonfly Kingdom, are fighting for resources and power, their people are suffering from poverty brought on by over mining and war.

Solace is plagued with another problem - one where artifacts from distant planets rain from the skies every so often, creating dangerous conditions for residents of Scrap Town Sixteen. Piper, along with other scrappers, survive by collecting and repairing the artifacts for resale to archivists. It is during one of these storms that Piper discovers an injured girl among the wreckage of a caravan destroyed by the extra-terrestrial debris, not knowing this girl would bring Piper face-to-face with adventure and danger.

Author Jaleigh Jognson creates a believable fantasy world in which steampunk technology rules. Transportation consists of trains and the developmental work on airships is considered cutting edge. Alien creatures live side-by-side with humans on planet Solace. There are also seers and healers, half-dragon and half-human creatures, synergists and humans with robotic limbs, all caught in between the two kingdoms fighting for ultimate control of the planet.

The Mark of the Dragonfly is labeled as a middle grade book, meaning it's intended for 8 to 12 year olds. However, I think it would appeal to teens as well, particularly those who are interested in steampunk fiction.

Publication is set for March 2014, and I can't wait to add this book talk The Mark of the Dragonfly to library patrons.

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