Monstrous Devices by Damien Love

Every now and again, you buy a book and plonk it on your TBR pile. It sits waiting while other books nip in front to take the limelight. Every now and then, you glance at it and wonder why you got it. The cool cover and title caught your eye, but there are so many books and so little time…then you read it, my word, should you have read it earlier. Monstrous Devices is this book for me, and, to my shame, it sat waiting for far to long.

Alex is a twelve year old boy with normal twelve year old’s woes. School bullies, absent father, and an adventure loving, globe gallivanting grandfather – you know, the normal stuff. His life is turned upside down when his grandfather sends him a wind-up tin robot. A simple child’s toy from a bygone era. A collector item really. Yet all isn’t how it seems…

The toy holds the key to a dark secret; one that very dangerous people seek, people willing to stop at nothing to get this item.

I adore the manner in which Damien Love builds on existing mythology, while weaving in new elements that create a real sense of danger. The retro tin toys being manipulated into tools of death has a fresh feeling to proceedings. But what makes the story sing is the relationship between Alex and his grandfather. One is unsure, confused and massively out of their depth, while the other seems to be relishing their constant plight. A brilliant duo!

Now for the teacher bit. Simply put, it is a cracker. Reading for pleasure is the pinnacle for a teacher. Get your class loving books and wanting to read just to enjoy it, then you’re on the right track. The only way to do this is share absolute belters like Monstrous Devices and watch them absorb every word. So go on then, what are you waiting for?

Daring, fast-paced, captivating – a monster of a read

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