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“Stunning…a bit like if you took Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Monsters Inc. and shoved them in a TARDIS.” --Buzzfeed
It’s a tentacled, inventive, gooey, world in there. . . .
Elliot Von Doppler and his friend Leslie think nothing ever happens in Bickleburgh, except inside the gleaming headquarters of DENKi-3000—the world’s eighth-largest electronics factory.
Beneath the glass towers and glittering skywalks, there's a rambling old mansion from which all the company’s amazing inventions spring forth. And no one except Uncle Archie knows what’s behind the second-to-last door at the end of the hall.
Until Elliot and Leslie are invited to take a glimpse inside.
They find stooped, troll-like creatures with jutting jaws and broken teeth. Tiny winged things that sparkle as they fly. And huge, hulking, hairy nonhumans (with horns). It is unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
But when Chuck Brickweather threatens to shut down the DENKi-3000 factory if a new product isn’t presented soon, the creatures know they are in danger. And when Uncle Archie vanishes, it’s up to Elliot, Leslie, and every one of the unusual, er, “employees” to create an invention so astonishing it will save the Creature Department. read more
Robert Paul Weston's first novel was Zorgamazoo, a Booklist top ten debut of 2008. Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Robert Paul Weston lives in Toronto, where he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto.read more
Weston's whimsical novel meanders too much to become the sort of Roald Dahl tribute it suggests. Elliot von Doppler is the son of two food critics who are also appallingly awful cooks. When Elliot's uncle Archie-head scientist at embattled local tech company DENKi-3000-invites him and fellow science fair competitor Leslie for a tour of the company, they discover that the secret to its innovations lies in the titular Creature Department. The 12-year-olds meet an assortment of bizarre creatures, including "expectorator operator Gabe, who "resembled a soft brown flagpole (with a potbelly)"; French vampire-fairy engineer Jean-Remy; and giant, dreadlocked, salamanderlike Gugor. After the parade of creatures, the core plot-preventing a hostile takeover of DENKi-3000-takes center stage, as the humans and creatures work frantically to create an invention that will make the company relevant again. Weston (Dust City) has perhaps too much fun with the goofy creations and creatures, while the corporate takeover storyline comes across more like an excuse for the monsters to exist than a plot in its own right. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.