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, unravelling the riddle of the little robot while trying to outwit relentless assassins of the human and mechanical kind.
Okay; middle grade fiction is on the boom – and with some very unique plotlines!
Imagine yourself, getting a gift from your Grandfather, a toy robot – a robot that you seem quite intrigued with, even if such kind of gifts from your Grandfather are part of the norm for their relationship. Imagine yourself being stupefied when you realise that there are other toy robots trying to maim/injure/kill you just to get their hands on the gifted toy robot. Imagine being whisked off to Paris, of all places by your grandfather, all the while running from forces that use robots to do their bidding and to protect a secret that just might destroy the whole world if revealed!
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
And it is.. In so many ways! Monstrous Devices was packed with action and adventure right from the start – while the protagonist, Alex grapples with a quirky, secretive grandfather whom he trusts with all his heart; even if at times his actions and his secrets gets on his nerve.
I actually enjoyed reading this adventure – even if I was a bit surprised (and honestly, not in a good way) with the way the twists and turns ended up in a climax that had more of a religious connotation than one would expect in a middle grade fiction. And the fact was there was quite less dialogue than I would have expected in the book – more of the descriptions of the action, plot and the paces they are in!