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BOOK REVIEW: The Curse of the Vampire Robot by Graeme Base

| 1 September 2021 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse of the Vampire Robot by Graeme Base

Angus & Robertson
September 2021
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Children’s Picture Book / Humour

100% Rocking

Deep in the Scottish Highlands,
Many years from now …

Gertie Gif, a lowly cleaning droid from the village of Loch Lan, sets out on an heroic quest to liberate her fellow robo-folk from the curse of a legendary, battery-draining laptop who lives in the castle on the hill.

Will Gertie and her little software-wolf companion succeed in cleaning out the vampire’s corrupted heart?
Or will the Curse of Voltoid remain forever hanging over the valley?

Classic vampire mythology meets nerdy computer-speak in a rhyming tale of adventure, bravery and compassion from master storyteller Graeme Base.



As a long-time fan of Base’s work, it wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I came to understand just how much depth and humour is also present, beyond the simply stunning illustration style.

Base does not disappoint, and this combination of nerdy computer-speak and gothic story is a set-up few others could have dreamed up, or executed nearly as well. 

The town’s policeman, PC Web,
was summoned to the scene,
and set about computing
what the reason might have been.
‘A simple case of power loss,’
at last the PC said.
‘Recharging Error 101:
his battery is dead.’

Here there be monsters… or at least… things that are a threat to computers and other smart-devices, and puns galore, which should have the adults giggling as much as the kids, though we might need to explain some of these ancient devices to kids and grandkids in generations to come. 

The leader came towards her
and her timeclock missed a beat,
but as he leapt she moved aside
and quickly pressed Delete.
The ware-wolf vanished with a yelp.
The others turned and fled,
and Gertie pressed on up the path
towards the Hill of Dread.

The humour and flawless rhythm to Base’s words keep the adventure fun and not too gothic, while delivering deeper messages about believing in yourself and looking for the truth behind the propaganda.

Oh, and don’t forget to delete any malware and update your software! 


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Category: Book Reviews

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