Reviews for Dead Gentleman

Booklist Reviews 2012 February #1
Two young New Yorkers from different eras unite to save the world from an invasion of zombies led by an elegant, corpse-wearing darkling. Shuttling among worlds, times, and points of view, Cody chronicles the recruitment of Tommy, a street urchin from 1901, into a wormhole-traveling Explorer's Society menaced by the powerful and mysterious Dead Gentleman. Guided by a device that can peer through time, Tommy contacts 12-year-old Jezebel a century into his future and tasks her with protecting an enigmatic clockwork bird that holds the key to the Gentleman's ability to conquer our planet. Despite all the quick changes and fortuitous coincidences, readers will enjoy watching the two quarreling protagonists take on zombies and other creepy-crawlies on the way to a fiery, if inconclusive, air battle over the Hudson River. Chucking in elements of steampunk, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs along with vampires, three-armed aliens, inscrutable monks, closet monsters, and even dinosaurs, Cody pays tribute to classic adventure authors and genres here as he dishes up an exciting time-travel tale. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Steampunk for middle graders, this time-travel fantasy alternates between Tommy, an orphan from early 1900s New York, and Jezebel, a contemporary girl who comes across Tommy in the basement of her apartment building. Together, the two must save the world from a living corpse. Aside from a slow bit mid-book, this adventure is fast paced, with enough frights and near-misses to keep readers glued.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

Gr 5-9--This complex, time-bending tale is told in alternating chapters. Tommy Learner tells about his adventures, which begin in New York in 1900, where he is a street child who supports himself by stealing. When he takes a magical metal bird from a man with the face of a corpse, he finds himself pursued by monsters and rescued by the Explorers' Society, a group that traverses magical worlds by traveling through time and space. After the living corpse, the Dead Gentleman of the title, attacks the Explorers, Tommy finds himself trapped and alone. Jezebel Lemon's chapters are told in third person. She is a contemporary girl who encounters Tommy's ghost in the basement of her apartment building and soon becomes aware of the many monsters and magical creatures that surround her otherwise-ordinary life. Tommy and Jez meet and realize that they must work together to save themselves, Merlin the magical bird, and Earth itself from the villain's schemes. Truly creepy monsters and nightmare figures, from the body-swapping Dead Gentleman to his vampire first lieutenant to a zombie dinosaur, bring a gripping sense of danger to the story, and real questions about the consequences of changing time add substance to the rapid action. Readers will be drawn into this story and challenged to follow its characters as they jump through time and fight to save us all.--Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI

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