After his parents and family die, Seven escapes his factory job. By wits and will alone, he survives in a London divided into the affluent Fairside and the squalor of London's industrial Blackside, where many struggle to eke their existence out of despair. But Seven has to fight for more than just food and shelter.
All over Blackside, a secret cabal of prominent citizens and the mysterious Mr. Kettlebent are snatching children. Rumor has it a wizard is controlling the queen, and the country's most notorious villain is the only one who wants to stop him. Seven is determined to find out why.
Hired by the criminal Jack Midnight to steal the evil wizard's spellbook, Seven soon discovers the mystery runs deeper than he suspected. But events spiral out of control, and it isn't long before the intrigue sweeps Seven into its deadly current.
|Publisher:||Harmony Ink Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“The 7th of London,” by Beau Schemery, is an unconventional, but amazing, book that mashes up several genres into an intricately plotted, very entertaining read. The story takes place in an alternate, steampunk Victorian London wherein Queen Victoria is being manipulated by an evil wizard, London is divided in half (a la Berlin), children are kidnapped and enslaved, there’s a secret underground city once populated by an ancient race of beings, the police wear steam-powered clockwork body armor that gives them more control over the populace, and the hero who rises to save the city from its darkest hour is 15-year orphan Seven, whose real name was stolen from him so long ago that he doesn’t even remember it. This is a YA book, primarily, but its themes and situations are very adult, and there is some extreme violence, including the torture of children. The author has created a very real alternate universe with well-realized characters you will care about and feel empathy for. Most of the main characters are children of varying ages, which leads me to my only real complaint about the book. Most of the time, the reader doesn’t know how old these kids are, and I always want to know the age when kids are the main characters. Children of differing ages must be written differently, because a ten year old won’t act or speak like a 15 year old. We finally find out that Seven is fifteen, but his best friend, Waverly, remains an enigma, as do Annie and Silas and most of the others. Since some of these kids are prostitutes or otherwise engaged in ‘adult’ activities, it’s information I feel should be there because it puts the character and his/her situation into better perspective. For example, Seven (or Sev, as he’s called) is the seventh child in his family and he leads a revolt against the evil owner of a factory where he and his siblings and other children are enslaved. He’s attacking and beating up adult men while his older brothers stand around watching? I wanted to know how old he was because that didn’t wash with me. In addition, the author can’t decide if these boys – ranging in age from ten to your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine – are boys, young men, or men. He constantly changes it up. “The two men were” when referring to teen boys; “the young men did” when referring to a fifteen year old and an apparently ten or eleven-year-old.” Since all of these characters are boys, and only the older teens could be reasonably referred to as young men, it gets even more confusing as to how old any of them actually are. Having said this, the story is complex and engaging, filled with intrigue, suspense, warfare and some very harsh brutality. Characters die or become viciously maimed. This is not a gentle fantasy story, but one steeped in very unforgiving realities where no character is truly safe from death or disfigurement, and almost anything can happen. That reality adds much more suspense to the tale than one might expect from a YA-aimed book. There are real historical characters involved, as well, and not just Queen Victoria. The young inventor, Nikola Tesla, makes an appearance when he is recruited by Sev and Silas to help defeat the evil wizard. Inexplicably, when the boys arrive in Austria to retrieve him, the ten year old speaks and understands fluent English with no explanation for how he came to do so (especially since his uncle seems to speak only German to the English boys, but then inexplicably says something to them in English right before they leave!) This is confusing, but not jarring enough to detract from the overall mastery of the storytelling. I would caution readers that, based on the horrific treatment of children, this book is probably not suitable for younger kids. In terms of violence, it could reasonably be considered “R” rated. However, for older teens and adults who relish unusual, exceptionally well-written tales with engaging, memorable characters and situations, please grab “The 7th of London.” You won’t be disappointed. The characters of Sev and Silas, in particular, will remain in your memory long after finishing the story. I greatly look forward to any other books Mr. Schemery pens in the future, especially if they’re as delightfully offbeat as this one.