Monstrous Devices
Monstrous Devices
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Annotation: Accidentally drawn into the macabre magic of an ancient family feud, twelve-year-old Alex flees his home in Britain with his grandfather, trekking across Europe to escape human and mechanical assassins trying to retrieve a powerful object.
Catalog Number: #168138
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 338 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-451-47858-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-451-47858-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017053893
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When Alex receives a robot in the mail from his grandpa, he is soon attacked by an army of little, deadly robots! What ensues is a journey to Paris to a toy maker who can confirm the robot's historical importance. Along the way, they flee and fight, flee and fight, and flee and fight some more with the bad guys, who include a few bald men in black; a tall, jumping man; a shady shop owner; and a young girl who may be connected to Alex in ways he never thought imaginable. Why do they want the robot? Hidden within it is the clay tablet with the true name of God that controlled the famous golem of Jewish myth. Love's story is full of relentless chases, leaving the protagonists with no chance to catch their breath. This fast-paced narrative will appeal to action fans but may disappoint others with its repetitiveness. Some questions are left unanswered, such as the background of the never-named grandpa, and a chilling twist at the end leaves room for potential sequels.
Horn Book
This one is special,
Kirkus Reviews
A young British teenager's ordinary world takes a sudden spin to the dark side with the arrival of an antique toy robot that turns out to conceal a terrible, and terrifying, power.Hardly has Alex unpacked the robot sent by his grandfather than he cuts himself on a sharp edge so that a little blood seeps into its workings. Cue the weirdness, starting with a homework assignment he doesn't remember finishing and a bully who inexplicably beats a sudden retreat. It quickly escalates into a headlong flight with his grandad and a running fight with a squad of varied but uniformly scary automatons fueled themselves by blood. What's up? Alex's robot, it turns out, was crafted to hide a tablet inscribed with the secret name of God that Rabbi Loew used to animate his legendary golem…and nefarious parties are out to revive the clay monster for—well, nothing good. Confused, terror-stricken, and inarticulate throughout, Alex comes off as a pale character next to his creepy adversaries and, in particular, his dapper, glib, secretive, martially adroit, scene-stealing grandfather. Still, as events move along apace, he proves surprisingly resourceful. Love tucks in plenty of icky bits, along with cinematic set pieces and hairbreadth escapes, and he strews enough tantalizing hints about his protagonist's murky past to excite interest in sequels. The human cast presents white.A well-knit debut generously stocked with chills, thrills, and chancy exploits. (Horror/suspense/fantasy. 12-14)
Publishers Weekly
In an English suburb, 12-year-old Alex collects toy robots and tries to avoid relentless bullying at school. After his grandfather sends him an old tin robot with a note that says -this one is special,- mysterious and frightening things begin to happen. Soon, Alex is swept along in his grandfather-s wake, first to Paris and then to Prague, pursued by dangerous people and the animated robots they are capable of powering. Alex-s grandfather has ebullient charm, and his humorous patter leavens a well-crafted adventure that-s filled with desperate chases, narrow escapes, fight scenes, and twists. Over the course of the escapade, Alex struggles with doubts about his grandfather-s remarkable-but perhaps less-than-reputable-past, his own possible connection to their pursuers, and the allure of power and the newfound autonomy it offers. Drawing on and modernizing stories of golems, debut author Love cleverly interweaves them with the history of robots and leaves some intriguing mysteries unresolved, hinting at further adventures to come. Ages 8-12. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management. (Nov.)

Word Count: 77,510
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 197620 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:16.0 / quiz:Q75873
Lexile: 680L

“I enjoyed everything about Damien Love’s debut—its title, its breakneck action, its sly sense of humor. I wish my first novel had been as imaginative and assured.” —Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Alex Rider series

On a winter’s day in a British town, twelve-year old Alex receives a package in the mail: an old tin robot from his grandfather. “This one is special,” says the enclosed note, and when strange events start occurring around him, Alex suspects this small toy is more than special; it might be deadly.
 
Right as things get out of hand, Alex’s grandfather arrives, pulling him away from an attack—and his otherwise humdrum world of friends, bullies, and homework—and into the macabre magic of an ancient family feud. Together, the duo flees across snowy Europe, unraveling the riddle of the little robot while trying to outwit relentless assassins of the human and mechanical kind.
 
With an ever-present admiration for the hidden mysteries of our world, Monstrous Devices plunges readers into a gripping adventure that’s sure to surprise.


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