Demon Gate

261p. (The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles). Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781554553068.
Gr 5–8—Ehrich Weisz's younger brother, Dash, disappears through a strange portal after a prank goes awry. Following him, Ehrich (who, in an alternate universe, grows up to be Harry Houdini) finds himself in a New York where the immigrants aren't from different lands, but from different dimensions. Two years later, he's become a Demon Watch Hunter, tasked with finding illegal "Dimensionals" (and hiding the fact that he is one himself). A demon who steals the eyeballs from living subjects, two mysterious women, a one-legged man still fighting the Civil War, and Nikola Tesla all play a role as Ehrich uses his knowledge of magic and his growing understanding of this steam-driven version of New York to find his brother and stop an evil warlord from destroying this dimension with giant robots. All the steampunk tropes are present and accounted for. While this is not the most original fantasy, the combination of folkloric demons and advanced technology, violence, and a teenaged Houdini filled with youthful angst will find an audience. Buy where alternate universes and clockwork automatons are popular.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library

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