Story Snug is excited to be joining Damien Love’s Monstrous Devices blogtour. Monstrous Devices, Damien’s debut novel which has just been published in paperback, is a fast paced, action packed adventure which takes us on a journey across Europe as old secrets and rivalries are uncovered. Human and robot lives are intertwined in a page turning thriller which is unlike anything we’ve ever read before.
The Story: Alex’s grandfather sends him a toy robot but when it attacks Alex in the middle of the night his grandfather takes him to Paris for safety.
But Paris isn’t safe and Alex and his grandfather are thrown into a macabre and magical adventure which includes thrilling chases through small Parisian streets, dangerous rooftop encounters, a French country house and Christmas markets in Prague…
Alex’s grandfather leads him into dangerous situations that he doesn’t understand and Alex has a multitude of questions. But Grandfather seems to have a lot of secrets that he’s not willing to share. Who are the tall man in a long black coat and the girl in purple- and-black-striped socks? And why do they so desperately want the toy robot that Alex’s grandfather sent him?
The toy robot accompanies Alex and Grandpa to Paris and as the story unfolds we discover its history and why the evil villains in the story will stop at nothing to get it. But Alex’s robot isn’t the only robot, there are also armies of toy robots, life sized robots and fliers (drone like robots). Time and time again Alex and his grandfather have to defend themselves from the robots and the girl who unleashes them.
Damien Love’s vivid descriptions drew us into each scene and kept us fully immersed in the story as it twisted and turned towards its dramatic ending. We were so emotionally involved in the drama and the danger that accompanied it that we couldn’t read fast enough! The description of a chase across Paris rooftops is particularly thrilling (but we won’t reveal what happens after they see the Eiffel Tower as we don’t want to spoil it for you)…
‘Alex already knew where they were headed. Halfway along the attic, a single skylight glowed dimly, just low enough to reach. Just big enough to fit through.
Snow was falling steadily as they climbed out onto the enormous roof.
His grandfather made him go first, crawling away from the window up the steep slope. The cold black tiles were slippery under Alex’s feet. There was little to get a grip on. But, clawing and scraping, sliding back then scrabbling on, they made it to the pitch of the roof, where they stopped, sitting facing each other on the peak, breath misting the sharp air. A frail full moon pushed through the wisping clouds, staining the rooftop silver.
Freed from concentrating on the climb, drawing breath, Alex’s mind flooded with panic, then a stunning sense of disbelief. He became aware of the raw ache in his throat, his shaking limbs. The sky was enormous above him.
“What did I tell you?” his grandfather said. He was pointing off behind Alex’s shoulder.
Turning his head, across the stretching roofscape Alex saw the Eiffel Tower, not far away, strangely clear, lit up gold and black, its blue searchlight strafing the swollen cloudbanks.’
We’re now looking forward to reading Damien’s next book, Shadow Arts…
About Damien Love
Damien Love was born in Scotland and lives in Glasgow, where, even as you read these words, it is raining. He is the author of several books on film and filmmakers, and is the TV critic for Scotland’s broadsheet, the Sunday Herald. He has the ability to talk to cats, but there is no evidence that they understand him.
You can find out more about Monstrous Devices and Damien Love on the other #MonstrousDevices blogtour stops;
Thank you to Rock the Boat for sending us a PDF of this thrilling story.