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DOOM MACHINE by Mark  Teague


by Mark Teague, illustrated by Mark Teague

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-15142-9
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

A small band of more-or-less ordinary Earth humans takes on a galactic empire in Teague’s first full-blown novel (Funny Farm, 2009, etc.). When the Dimensional Field Stabilizer that Uncle Bud has cooked up in his small-town garage draws a flying saucer full of piratical, spiderlike skreeps, young Jack Creedle and a handful of other residents and passersby suddenly find themselves captives, hurtling through time and space toward Planet Skreepia and (eventually, after many adventures) a climactic dustup with the Skreep Queen. Details in the story, which is set in 1956, and the occasional spot or full-page illustrations add a retro tone to the tale, as do the many pulp-magazine–style furry, chitinous or rubbery aliens met along the way. Though the author gives most of the active roles to the grown-ups, leaving Jack and his science-crazy new friend Isadora largely observers, his feeling for oddball characters and twists recalls Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday (2007) and should draw the same audience. (Science fiction. 11-13)