The Foundry’s Edge

Cameron Baity, Author, Benny Zelkowicz, Author, John Foster, Illustrator
Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6227-8
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Baity and Zelkowicz, animators and artistic collaborators whose credits include work on such shows as Robot Chicken and Moral Orel, make their fiction debut with this richly imagined fantasy, first in a trilogy. Twelve-year-old Phoebe Plumm lives in the lap of luxury, in a world filled with amazing technological advances, whose secrets are jealously guarded by the Foundry. When Foundry agents kidnap Phoebe’s father, she and the Plumm Estate “grease monkey,” annoying 10-year-old Micah, follow. Plunged into a world of living metal and machinery, the two encounter numerous dangers, as well as a mechanical companion, the erratic Dollop. Baity and Zelkowicz have created a memorable setting that owes less to steampunk than an atmosphere of retro-futurism, and the authors’ prose is stuffed with lavish descriptions (“The brasslands stretched as far as the eye could see, a golden ocean roiling in the breeze, crashing up against corkscrew spires”). The plot drags at times as the heroes slog from one situation to the next, and some twists are quite obvious, but it’s still a solid start to the series, filled with storytelling potential. Ages: 8–12. Agent: Gotham Group. (Apr.)
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