Rating: 4/5 – Really fun all-ages comedy/fantasy.
This is a perfect example of “all ages”. It’s not written down to kids or simplified beyond belief to make it ‘suitable’ for kids. It’s just a fun story that your kids will love reading themselves, you will love reading to your kids, or you can enjoy by yourself if you don’t have kids.
We open in 1867 England, a giant monster attacks Billingwood and everyone runs! But wait, it turns out the citizens really like their monster. There are souvenirs to be sold, the tourist trade to be considered as people travel to experience different monster attacks, and towns generally compete with one another over who has the better monster. Every town has a monster. Well, every town except Stoker-on-Avon, he’s been a no show for 536 days!
And there we have the set-up as Stoker-on-Avon enlists the local ‘mad scientist’ Dr. Wilkie to get their monster back on the job. Local newsboy Timothy comes along for the ride and we’re off on an adventure as Dr. Wilkie and young Tim rouse the monster (named Rayburn) from his cave and go about helping him get his monster mojo.
Writer/artist Rob Harrell (also known for the syndicated newspaper strip Adam@Home) has put together a nice package here, 181 pages of fun funny fantasy that keeps you engaged from start to finish. I couldn’t put the book down once I started. The combination of characterization, pacing, and delightful art made this a pleasure to read and re-read.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – email@example.com
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