The Maker of Monsters
Lorraine Gregory


Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the moment when they are ready to be put to use. But then the unthinkable happens. The monsters get out. Now Brat must overcome his fears, and venture into the world he has hidden from his whole life. For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone. . . A thrilling new standalone adventure from Lorraine Gregory.

Your reviews

Lola, 11
A boy in isolation has chosen a career in slavery for a man driven crazy by his own grief for his kidnapped daughter.

The boy's job is to feed the beasts but as they get more and more nightmarish, he realises he has helped put the human race into grave danger. With no plan, skills or knowledge of what is inside the mysterious walls of the town across the sea, he runs away from the tower before Wrath lets chaos run through the world.

I love this book because its a monster mash of friendship, action and mystery.
June Hughes, 9
Brat is an orphan, plucked from the waters and treated as a virtual slave by Lord Macawber, a magician and necromancer. Lord Macawber uses his magic to create monsters who will help him attack the city that threw him out but something goes wrong and his latest monster, Wrath, gets loose and frees all the other creatures. Brat must get to the city to warn the people of the impending attack and find Macawber's daughter, the only person who can stop these monsters.

Brat, accompanied by his only two friends in the world - both early examples of Macawber's work - must negotiate the perils of the sea and the world beyond his island. He is expecting hostility and distrust, because that is what Macawber led him to believe, but is surprised to find friendship and support to carry out his dangerous task.

This story is perfect for the young reader looking for an exciting adventure. The descriptions of the attacks by the terrifying looking patchwork monsters are suitably scary, Brat and Molly are both appealing characters (brave, loyal to their friends and determined), and the comical characters of Tingle and Sherman with their constant bickering and unquestioning love for Brat provide moments of humour as well as one of the most difficult moral dilemmas for Brat. In fact, that moral dilemma becomes even more difficult following an unexpected plot twist that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

The book is written from Brat's perspective so the reader is given an insight into his thoughts and fears, his moments of despair and hopelessness in the face of what look like insurmountable difficulties, his loyalty to Tingle and Sherman - which endangers his life on more than one occasion, and his horror at the way he had been deceived and misled by Macawber's lies.

The action races along keeping the reader gripped until the very end with its message of hope or, in Brat's words; "It won't be like this forever".

256 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian
Jo Clarke, 9
Meet Brat - his name sums up his existence: he is unappreciated, unloved and overlooked. Treated as if he is no more than a 'Brat', our hero's life is controlled by his master, Lord Macawber, a vengeful maker of monsters. Poor Brat - he has never known a life outside of the castle walls and has only ever known harsh words and unkindness. He does, however, have two loyal and loving friends, Tingle and Sherman, prototype hybrid monsters, created by Macawber and brought to life by black magic. Together they form an endearing and loyal trio.

Lord Macawber is seeking revenge for the kidnap of his daughter and he works with maniacal obsession to create an army of monsters, pieced together from different beasts. Brat is Macawber's orphaned servant; scared of his environment, scared of his master yet always able to see glimmers of hope in all that he sees.

When Lord Macawber's evil plans go disastrously wrong, it is Brat who has to save the kingdom. Brat finds within himself a courage he never knew he had. Desperate to put an end to the devastation that the monster army is going to cause, Brat has to deliver a locket to the Doomed City. Facing all manner of fears, Brat sets off with his beloved Tingle and Sherman. Along the way he meets Molly and they unite to rescue a whole community - a community that Brat has been taught to fear.

As he endeavours to right Macawber's wrongs, Brat learns that he is worth so much more than being Lord Macawber's lowly slave. He also knows that he has a huge dilemma as he knows that in order to save lives, other lives must be lost. His willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice is so poignant and embodies all that Brat really is: honourable, noble and selfless, certainly not a 'Brat'.

This is a thrilling read. The characters are strong and will leave an imprint on your heart long after the last page has been turned. Brat is such an unlikely but such a well-deserved hero. He is proof that anything is possible if you dare to believe in yourself. He shows us that good will always prevail and that love will certainly conquer all .

Vivid description and breath-taking action scenes will have you gasping in shock and surprise whilst the bond between Brat and his friends will leave you basking in a warm, furry glow! I'm hoping there's a sequel as I don't want my friendship with Brat to finish. This is a book crying out for merchandise - I'm first in the queue for a cuddly Tingle and Sherman. Please!

256 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Jo Clarke, teacher
Connor Newham, 11
When I was handed this book, I'm going to be honest, I wasn't sure I was even going to enjoy it, but I'm so glad they did! I loved this book for its clever way of almost convincing you that a monster was right around the corner with its 'on the run' feeling.

If I was to sum this book up into five words it would be: Every door has a key. Situations impossible to solve, answered by an insignificant detail revealed at the final second, when death was sure.

I would recommend this book for someone looking for something to kickstart their imagination with a childish horror.

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