The Dominion Key (Joshua Dread #3)

The Dominion Key (Joshua Dread #3)
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Release Date
May 13, 2014
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The summer is coming to an end and Joshua—along with his friends Sophie, Milton, and Miranda—are about to begin seventh grade. But when a trip to the mall turns into an attack by nFinity and a couple of Phineas Vex's goons, it becomes clear that they're no longer safe in Sheepsdale. To ensure their safety, Joshua and his friends must enroll in Alabaster Academy, a school for Gyfted kids. Located on an isolated island where there are only two types of weather (rainy and very rainy), Alabaster is filled with every kind of superpowered student you can imagine—not to mention a whole new species of bully. But when Alabaster comes under attack, Joshua and his friends are forced to escape once again. Their only hope for survival is to find a mysterious key that will enable complete world domination for whoever possesses it. But what if Phineas Vex finds the key first?

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Joshua, Milton, Sophie and Miranda are all attacked by evil villains named Grifter and Lunk (who is made up of concrete but dissolves in water!), and the parents decide they are no longer safe. Since the kids all want to go to school together, they end up at Alabaster Academy, a school for Gyfted children that is set on a remote, Gothic Island. It turns out that Grifter and Lunk work for Phineas Vex, and they are trying to assemble the components for The Device. The one remaining item they need is the Dominion Key, which was produced by a teacher at Alabaster, Dr. Fleming.When Alabaster's security is breached, the group, along with Cassie, the principal's daughter, heads off to a cabin where Fleming claims to have hidden the key. Along the way, they meet up with Marvin and Gus, retired superheroes who do their best to help the kids with their outdated technology. The group almost loses Miranda, uncovers some secrets, and may finally manage to contain Phineas Vex... or do they?

The clever writing makes this a delight. I even have an 8th grader who was a little leery of these who tore through the first two. There is a strong sense of the kids being in charge, and the look into the past of the parents is really fun, since they are involved but don't dominate the scene. I adored Marvin and Gus, who were sort of like a washed up Batman and Robin. There's a tiny bit of romance hinted at, and in general the tone is pitch perfect for middle grades, even up to 8th!
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