Robert Paul Weston, Robot Girl

Razorbill, 2015, ISBN 978-1-59514-750-9

Gobbled by Ghorks is the sequel to The Creature Department, which introduced Leslie and Elliott, plus a cast of bizarre but benign and ingenious creatures whom they befriend, and the disgusting and murderous Ghorks who threaten their town. Readers who have not read its predecessor may initially find the book slightly confusing, though it can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel. Word has reached the creatures and Elliott and Leslie that the neighbouring town of Simmersville is under threat from the Ghorks. Their help is badly needed, or the creatures in Heppleworth's Food Factory will be eaten. Once they get there, they discover that's not the only risk. The Ghorks are plotting to turn humans into creatures and enslave them. Elliott learns the power of the Ghorks' inventions the hard way. At his food-obsessed parents' insistence, he eats the 'special' on the menu at a Simmersville restaurant. It isn't long before his skin has turned to fur and his mouth become a muzzle. The race is on to outwit the Ghorks. Success hinges on the cabaret act that brings the town's food festival to a close. With seconds to go before their friend Gugor the Knucklecrumpler meets a terrible end, and with food flying in all directions, they save the day.

At over 200 pages, with small print, few illustrations and a complicated plot, this novel will not appeal to all. But fantasy-lovers with a taste for zany drama, slapstick humour and grossness - snot plays a major part - will find lots to enjoy.