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Loved it! 😍

Tightly written and expertly paced, this action-packed middle grade novel will grab you in chapter one and not let go until the final page.

It’s a battle of wills, wits, and all things robotic as a trio of three scrappy kids goes toe-to-toe against an evil genius bent on destruction in Stop! Robot!, an action-packed and exciting novel by Gaz Anson.

Wally is an eleven year-old “whiz kid” who builds robots for household tasks and chores. His dad has disappeared, leaving his mum struggling to make ends meet. When word of Wally’s robot-building expertise gets out, “the old geezer down the road,” the enigmatic Dr. Criplash, wants Wally to build a robot for him - to the tune of ten thousand dollars. But what exactly is Wally supposed to be creating for Dr. Criplash? And what is Criplash going to use it for?

Eager to find out more, Wally leaves POLLY snooping around Dr. Criplash’s house searching for clues. When the mini-drone zeroes in on some newspaper clippings, Wally suspects there’s more to Dr. Criplash’s robot-making order than meets the eye. But Mum needs the money. And so does Wally. What’s an eleven year-old whiz kid to do?

The answer is plenty. In fact, it gets personal fast when the doc kidnaps Wally’s sister, Pip. Criplash holds Pip hostage unless Wally builds his robot. By the way, how does the evil Dr. Criplash know so much about Wally and his family?

There’s a boatload of entertainment to enjoy in this action-packed middle grade novel. Told in the first person by Wally, it'll keep readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.

Interactions between Wally and his sister and Wally’s friends Mindy and Fitzy are spot-on. The dialogue is credible and crisp. The writing is also top-notch, with vivid characterizations and descriptions such as Dr. Criplash has “a twisted expression” that reveals “a mouthful of small yellow teeth.” Dr. Criplash also has “black shiny eyes” and a “pock-marked face.”  He clamps “a clawed hand over her mouth.” Later, Wally leaps out of bed “like a stung cat.” The sky is “filled with angry black clouds, shimmering with lightning.” And so on.

There’s also a lot of “food for thought” in the storyline. It's part detective, part creative problem-solving, part technology, and part camaraderie/teamwork as Wally and his friends join forces to solve some pretty sticky problems. It turns out that Dr. Criplash is planning a lot more destruction that originally thought. But you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out about that.

Talk about fun and fast fiction! Tightly written and expertly paced, STOP! ROBOT! will grab you in chapter one and not let go until the final page.

I read STOP! ROBOT! from start to finish in one sitting. You can be sure I’ll be keeping an eye out for more for this talented author. Grab this book and you will, too. Cuz this one’s a keeper.

Reviewed by

Library Board Member. Communications & Marketing Prof'l. Interests incl: Historical, Christian, Literary Fiction. Action/Adventure/Outdoors. Children's & YA books. Select Non-Fiction. A frank but fair reviewer, Kristine averages 300+ books/year in a wide variety of genres on multiple platforms.

Chapter 1

About the author

GAZ lives in Australia, a large island at the bottom of the world surrounded by sharks. He has been an editor, a carriage driver and a zookeeper. He believes that nothing should be taken at face value, and that everything and everyone contains secrets and surprises. view profile

Published on March 14, 2023

Published by

40000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle Grade

Reviewed by