Twelve-year-old Ray is haunted by the strangest memories of his father, whom Ray swears could speak to animals. Now an orphan, Ray jumps from a train going through the American South and falls in with a medicine show train and its stable of sideshow performers. The performers turn out to be heroes, defenders of the wild, including the son of John Henry. They are hiding the last of the mythical Swamp Sirens from an ancient evil known as the Gog.
The automa Pinocchio has always been duty-bound to serve in the floating palace of Venice's emperor. So when Pinocchio finds himself locked in a trunk and delivered to a new master - a wanted criminal and alchemist named Geppetto - he is curious about everything around him. But most curious is the way Pinocchio seems to be changing from a wooden servant into a living, human boy.
In The Nine Pound Hammer, John Bemis introduced middle-grade readers to a whole new approach to epic fantasy, founded on characters and themes from American mythology and lore, including the legend of John Henry. Now in the third and final book, the heroes come together at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago for a final confrontation with a businessman and tycoon who is in fact an ageless evil known as the Gog.
"Can you imagine eternal Darkness, sir?" So asks the sickly stranger who staggers into Peg Leg Nel's birthday party. Before the man dies, he tells Ray and his friends of a Darkness spreading like wildfire across Kansas, turning good people bad and poisoning anyone who tries to escape. It's clear that though the evil Gog is dead, his devilish machine has survived and is growing stronger.