The Box and the Dragonfly (The Keepers #1)

 
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The Box and the Dragonfly (The Keepers #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
March 03, 2015
ISBN
9780062275820
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From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus--a sign with his own name on it--everything changes. The sighting leads him underground to the House of Answers, a hidden warehouse brimming with peculiar devices. But there he finds only questions. What is this curious place? Who are the strange, secretive people who entrust him with a rare and immensely powerful gift? And what is he to do with it?

As he works to master his newfound abilities, Horace quickly discovers that nothing is ordinary anymore. From the sinister thin man lurking around every corner to his encounters with Chloe--a girl who has an astonishing talent of her own--Horace follows a path that puts him in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between two mysterious factions.

Horace's journey leads him and Chloe deep into a place where every decision they make could have disastrous consequences. Most important, it links Horace to the Box of Promises and a future he never saw coming.

With an action-packed blend of fantasy and science fiction, Ted Sanders creates a world where everything is more than it seems and where friendship and loyalty have the greatest power of all.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Intricate fantasy world
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Horace sees a shop on his way home from school that looks like it has his name on it, but when he investigates, he realizes it says "House of Answers" instead of "Horace F. Andrews". It's still an unusual place, and he meets Mrs. Hapsteade and Mr. Meister, who run it. He is given a box that makes him feel rather odd, and is soon being pursued by the evil thin man, Dr. Jericho, who calls him a tinker and threatens him. The box appears to make objects travel through time, and Horace isn't entirely sure what its purpose is until he meets Chloe. She is the Keeper of a dragonfly pendant that gives her the power to become "thin" and go through objects. Horace finds out that he has been recruited to bond with the box, a Tanu, which has properties that aren't quite magical, but aren't quite real, either! He is not just a Tanu'ji, but a warden as well, and he, Chloe, and the people from the House of Answers are all engaged in a battle against the Riven, who are trying to get the Tanu for themselves and use them for evil. While Horace's parents are very present and supportive, Chloe's dad has been neglectful and drunken ever since Chloe's mother left, so she is grateful to find refuge in the Mazzoleni Academy that Mr. Meister runs. Along with fellow students Gabriel and Neptune, the group fights the Riven in order to rescue Chloe's father. In the end, Horace finds out that his mother may be involved, and that the Mothergates, that power the Tanu, may be dying.
Good Points
Readers who enjoy Black and Clare's The Iron Trial, Wilson's Ashtown Burials series, or Steampunk fantasty stories that involve a lot of gadgets will enjoy this well-developed fantasy world and trinkets and language that are integral to understanding it. The Tanu and the Tanu'ji are very complex, and the way they are developed and bonded together will delight any reader of high fantasy who believes that the line between technology and magic is very thin.

While Chloe's parents are largely absent, it was delightful to see Horace's mother and father give him a hard time about things like losing his house keys. To then have his mother be a part of his fantasy world was fascinating. Given the small number of parents who actually survive in middle grade books, I can see this being a popular choice with families who like to read books together.
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