Thursday, 17 March 2011

Review: The Toymaker - Jeremy De Quidt

Published: January 1st 2010, Random House
Series?: No, this one’s a standalone (hurrah!)
Acquired: Picked up at the Random House Blogger Brunch

Summary (from Goodreads): What good is a toy that will wind down? What if you could put a heart in one? A real heart. One that beat and beat and didn't stop. What couldn't you do if you could make a toy like that?

From the moment Mathias becomes the owner of a mysterious piece of paper, he is in terrible danger. Entangled in devious plots and pursued by the sinister Doctor Leiter and his devilish toys, Mathias finds himself on a quest to uncover a deadly secret.

My review: The Toymaker has been sitting on my shelf for a few months now and, for whatever reason, I kept putting other books ahead of it on my TBR list. At a recent event another blogger told me The Toymaker was the scariest book she’d ever read and, for me, that decided it. I knew I had to check it out.

The Toymaker puzzled me, though I did really enjoy it. I wasn’t sure quite where it fitted into the marketplace – it’s marketed and listed as a book for children but there was some content that I definitely don’t think is suitable for kids. There are some elements of horror, yes, but I think they were perfectly written to shock and scare younger readers without going too far.

However, there was quite a lot of action and violence and I think some of this could be inappropriate for younger readers. Then again, the plot was quite linear and the characters a little simply developed so I don’t think this one would be too popular with older readers. I don’t know, I was just a little confused about who exactly the target audience is for the book.

I did found we were introduced to quite a few villains in The Toymaker who flitted in and out of the story so it did get a little confusing and none of them (apart from big baddie, Doctor Leiter) were really given much attention in terms of developing their character. I had a couple of issues with our heroes in the book as well – for me Koenig’s purpose just wasn’t made clear at all and I wish we could have learned a bit more about his backstory. Mathias and Katta, however, are both given a lot of attention and I felt like Katta was a great character. We got to hear a lot about her backstory and I grew to be really fond of her, especially once I learned about her accident.

One of the things I really liked about The Toymaker is that none of the characters are stereotypes. We have no absolute hero – Koenig is flawed, Katta certainly is and even Mathias has his problems. It was refreshing to read about realistic people – even if their situation was really extraordinary.

The Toymaker isn’t a happy story. There are no comedic elements and I doubt you’ll crack a smile from beginning to end. You won’t finish this book feeling uplifted (I felt a bit like I needed to scrub under my fingernails) but it will definitely have an impact on you. It stayed with me for a long time after reading and honestly, I think that’s the mark of a great story.

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 15/20 (B)


  1. That cover alone is SCARY!

    *looks at teddy bears on the bookcase* Yeah, I never liked dolls..


    Anyway, it looks like a halloween read :P

  2. I am too scared to read it the cover terrifies me *shudders*

  3. I am actually reading The Toymaker myself at the moment, I have read it before, and I have had ONE nightmare from it. ONE! It wasn't impressive, I can tell you. Doctor L was chasing me around with his silver topped cane and I fell over in the mud. Interesting, I know. I love books, and I love reading, The Toymaker did not scare me, and I am sure I read it when I was 10. I am 11 now and have decided to read it again! It's a great sotry and I am glad to have bought it AND read it the many times that I have. Thank you for reading, I hope to read more of Jeremy's books, I think I will go for The Feathered Man next. Books don't take long for me to read, so a day or two and The Toymaker will be finished! (For the 20th time...!)

  4. Please if you can before September, tell me
    1: How old is he?
    2: When was he born?
    3: WHERE was he born?
    4: What his most famous book was? (I'm guessing THE TOYMAKER for now, PLEASE let me be right!)

    1. er ist im jahre 1957 geboren
      er wurde in London geboren

  5. i have gust started the toy maker and i am suprised some people are scerd of the cover because i am 10 and im not scerd of eny of the part i have read!

  6. was ist jetzt das Geheimnis, hab es durch gelesen, verstehe es aber nicht

  7. what is the secret of Matthias grandpa


Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.