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From the Creature Department series, volume 1

by Robert Paul Weston ; illustrated by Framestore

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59514-685-4
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Monsters, Inc. in this tale of two preteen geeks who help to save a local business from a (very) hostile takeover.

Thanks to inventions like refreshing, wireless TransMints, DENKi-3000 is the fifth-largest tech firm in the world. But its secretive research-and-development department, run by Elliot von Doppler’s enigmatic uncle Archimedes, hasn’t produced in so long that the shareholders are on the verge of accepting a takeover bid from equally secretive Quazicom. Elliot discovers the reason for the hush-hush when he and new friend Leslie Fang take a private tour of the company headquarters and discover that DENKi-3000’s R&D is staffed not by humans but by Creatures ranging from a diminutive French fairy-vampire to a more sizable and aptly dubbed “bombastadon,” among many diverse others. Moreover, it later turns out that Quazicom is likewise owned by Creatures—malign Ghorks armed with both Taser-equipped security droids and the ability to shoot high-velocity boogers. Weston crafts a suspenseful if predictable plot that culminates in a wild melee and the unveiling of an awesome new invention, but the Creaturely cast (developed in collaboration with CGI studio Framestore) elbows both the human one and the storyline aside here to take center stage.

A literal Creature feature, with plenty of cinematic and digital spinoff potential. (illustrations, webpage and app still under development) (Fantasy. 10-13)