Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review - The Doom Machine by Mark Teague (4/5 stars)

I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program.  After reading the synopsis I was hooked, this sounded like a fantastic book.  It was a great read.  Very amusing and would appeal to children and adults alike.

It's 1956 and Jack Creedle is a trouble maker, but he's a trouble maker who is really good at fixing cars and trying to hold his own paper route.  One morning while delivering papers he sees a flying saucer land in the forest.  Little does Jack know the Skreeps have returned and they are here to collect a special item.  Ironically the special item is something that Jack's uncle Bud built and it just happens to be a time machine of sorts.  If the Skreeps get there..uh..legs on it, it could mean the end of Earth.  When Isadora and her mother get stranded in Vern Hollow they are sucked into the adventure with Jack and Bud.  It is an adventure that will take all of the participants literally out of this world to Skreepia and beyond.

If you want to compare this book to something I would say think of it as a 1950's sit-com version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but suitable for all ages.   This book is zany and crazy and full of intriguing characters.   The characters are very interesting, the plot moves along at a great clip, and there is a lot of great humor.  This is fun science fiction for kids (and adults) that has a bit of a pulp science fiction feel to it.

This book reminded me a lot of Philip Reeve's Larklight series too.  It has that zany adventure through space feel to it.  The book itself it very well put together and has some very nice sketches throughout that help readers to picture some of the more crazy creatures easier.  This would be a great book to read to kids.  The writing is easy to read and engaging.  Teague does a great job creating a goofy but believable premise. The book wraps up nicely.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  I hope to see more books from Teague in the future.  If you like Daniel Pinkwater, the Larklight series by Philip Reeve, or are looking for a kid-friendly version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy this is the book for you.  Everyone should check out this zany space adventure.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The Young Adult Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
The Doom Machine

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