'The Maker of Monsters' is a fast paced, action packed, monster feast of a book. It is Frankenstein meets the Fall of Troy and much more besides. Rollicking good fun!
Brat lives in a castle where his master, Lord Macawber, is creating an army of terrifying monsters. Following only his instructions as servant, Brat is horrified to discover just how vicious the monsters are. And when they escape, Brat must undertake a journey to save everyone while facing his own fears.
What I loved most about Lorraine Gregory's fantastic little book is her conjuring of a unique, though familiar, world. The story starts in a kind of Frankenstein-like castle before zipping off into a world that is Mediterranean, ancient Greek, in atmosphere and detail. Brat's journey becomes a kind of Odyssey with twists and turns and sneak peeks into a larger world of intrigue and magic. The characters are also lovable, particularly Brat and Molly; Gregory's story glows with a lot of heart. While imaginative, the story also allows the reader to imagine a lot independently. Gregory's writing is sparse but lights up a monstrous imagination like electricity to the brain. At points I really wanted to know more about this exciting world; to be offered more details about its history, magic and customs. Occasionally the story feels constrained and perhaps overly-edited. Perhaps this was just me, but I craved to go deeper on the journey with Brat and his wonderful friends. Younger children, who perhaps struggle with reading, will be engrossed and will turn the pages feverishly.
'The Maker of Monsters' is sure to be eaten up by many little monsters out there. There is so much in this little book to prod and poke and imagine. And it all comes wonderfully to life with power, electricity, and most importantly, heart.