Friday, June 3, 2011

48HBC Blog Post: Creature Tech

Update: So far I'm at about 5 hours of reading time, so I'm going to be blogging and networking for the next hour before work.

I read Creature Tech by Doug Ten Napel, a YA graphic novel. I read Ten Napel's Ghostopolis a week or two ago, and loved it. So when I went to get books for this weekend, I went straight to his last name and found two other books by him, including this one. I recognized Ten Napel's style right away on the cover with the straight lines of the main character, Dr. Michael Ong. This book starts in the past to give the reader an idea of where the plot comes from once we get about 30 pages into the book. We see a giant moray eel fall on a house and crush someone to death.

Then we get to the present day and meet Dr. Ong who becomes a world-class scientist and works at Creature Tech, a place where he and a couple others go through strange things in crates given to them by the government. His town isn't very happy to have this strange operation there. His main task is fighting a ghost who comes back from the dead and all the cats he turns to fight against Dr. Ong.

Although Dr. Ong may sound mature, he is actually a very young man, and there is even a bit of love in this book. Ten Napel combines the science fiction with love with humor, unbelievably. Some parts are visual jokes and some are verbal jokes. For example, at one point the ghost is putting together an aerial view of the town and breaks into an Italian song. Once he finally puts all the pieces together and you realize he is searching for the giant eel again, he says, "That's a moray!" Here it refers to the eel and to the Italian word for love, amore.

Dr. Ong is a very smart, if not sometimes careless, person, but he also comes across as normal in some ways. He has friends, he fights with his dad, he's falling in love with the girl he used to make fun of in high school. The characters in this book, including the bad guys, make this a great story, and the plot twists, foreword, humor, and excellent drawings make it even better.

I should mention something about the foreword. It's written by Terry Mattingly, the director of the Washington Journalism Center, and he gives a very interesting view on the story - he said it feels just like a storyboard for a movie. It's good to read the foreword because when you come to certain parts in the book, it makes them easier to understand.


  1. Good Luck! I'm cheering you on!

  2. I read Ghostopolis a few months ago and loved it! I'll be sure to add Creature Tech to my tbr list. Happy reading!

  3. Thanks Tammy! Vasilly - I also checked out Iron West by Ten Napel and will probably read that soon, too. I'll let you know how it is!