Review: Monstrous Devices – Damien Love
When Alex’s grandfather sends him an old robot out of the blue, the mysterious writing of his English essay while he’s asleep is just the start. Whisked off to Paris and Prague by his grandfather, Alex finds himself galloping at breakneck speed through a secret, magical world where good battles evil, opening up a Pandora’s box of questions including some that challenge even Alex’s own beliefs about himself.
It’s a rattling good read sprinkled with dry humour and memorable characters; his grandfather is larger than life. Publishers Weekly captures it thus: “Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Toy Story” and that’s a fair comment that indicates the blend of whimsy, danger, and adventure.
Damien Love borrows freely (and openly, with tongue-in-cheek references) from an array of fantasy precursors (Frankenstein, King Kong, among others – John Masefield and The Box of Delights came to mind as well for me) but with a deft hand that doffs his hat to them even as he adds his own original spin.
A bonus is some lovely descriptive writing and the great cover illustration and frontispiece by Sam LeDoyen. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Published by Rock the Boat, 2020