The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson is a steampunk middle-grade story about a scrappy girl named Piper and a world where forgotten objects from other places fall from the sky as meteors. Yes, you read that right, steampunk + middle grade + meteors of objects from other worlds! I was sucked into The Mark of the Dragonfly from the very beginning and absolutely adored it. If you enjoy middle-grade that still has an intriguing world and plot, then look no further than The Mark of the Dragonfly!
Note: I received The Mark of the Dragonfly through Netgalley for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
Published by Delacorte on March 25th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG, Steampunk
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.
The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.
The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.
Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.
- The world in The Mark of the Dragonfly is so fresh and exciting. Right away we are introduced to meteor storms that rain down objects from other worlds, which Piper tries to collect and sell to traders. The myth behind these objects involves a goddess ripping a whole in the sky as she left the world, enabling forgotten objects from other places to slip through! Also, The Mark of the Dragonfly has a very steampunk vibe in that there are trains and airships :D.
- I loved the characters in The Mark of the Dragonfly! Our MC, Piper, is scrappy and fighting for her livelihood while also protecting those she can see need protecting. Her trusty sidekick throughout The Mark of the Dragonfly is a girl named Anna who is adorable and nerdy in all the best ways!
- As you could expect from a middle-grade story, Mark of the Dragonfly doesn’t have much of a romance, but there is a kid crush that slowly develops and it was so adorable to read *squees*.
- The Mark of the Dragonfly avoids a typical problem in a lot of kid’s literature: there are adults present and they are actually capable, cool, and helpful! I ended up liking the adult secondary characters just as much as the kids really, score.
- The magic in Mark of the Dragonfly revolves around powers that I haven’t really run into much before and that was so cool. I can’t give more specifics without being spoilery, but look forward to it :D.
- On a similar note, The Mark of the Dragonfly had a couple of great plot twists that I definitely didn’t see coming. When I got to the first one, my eyes got really big and I couldn’t stop smiling! ;-) It’s so nice to run into a middle-grade story that is still able to surprise and engage me, let me tell you!
- So you know the cool meteors and the myths surrounding them? That isn’t what Mark of the Dragonfly is about really at all. I got quite excited over the idea of these meteors, and then the plot went in a completely different direction and by the end I was left saying, “That was cool, but what about all that stuff that was cool in the beginning??” I do have a lot of hope for a sequel to explore this aspect more though of course.
- There are a couple of things in the plot that, looking back after the big reveal, don’t make a lot of sense. You could probably come up with something if you thought hard enough, but I was a little irked that not everything clicked into place by the end.
The Mark of the Dragonfly is an awesome story with really unique magic elements that immediately pulled me in. I’m still so pumped about this world and really hope that The Mark of the Dragonfly turns into a series so I can find out more about what is going on. If you enjoy middle-grade fantasy/sci-fi/steampunk-mix-of-awesome, then you absolutely have to check out The Mark of the Dragonfly so that I can gush about it with you :D. Also all the metal on the cover is shiny and there is a cool illustrated scene with the characters on top of a train on the back, so you should find it next time you’re at a bookstore!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.