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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
CHOMP! Charlie Carter and the Monster Pike is a children's book by David Rogers. There’s a huge pike in the Thames River, and when I say huge, I mean really huge. Created in a lab, it escaped, and now it seeks revenge on any and every two-legged creature (humans) it encounters. Being a vast pike, it’s starving. When young Charlie witnesses this pike devouring his uncle on a fishing expedition on the Thames, he’s overcome with fear and remorse. But he develops a passion for justice, to see this pike pay for its deadly deeds. Even though the river police don’t believe Charlie’s story, his friends do, and they vow to take on the pike on their own.
David Rogers' children's novel CHOMP! Charlie Carter and the Monster Pike is quite the fishy story. The author has woven a fascinating Jaws-like tale, complete with some very fish-centered play-on-words puns to add some humor to the otherwise gruesome tale. For example, the secret agents who attempt “to mussel their way in” and Charlie's intent to help them “just for the halibut,” or perhaps it’s merely all a "fishcious rumor.” The plot follows Charlie from witnessing the actual gruesome monster attack to his adventures as he and his friends track the monster pike, intent on capturing it. Charlie’s not a destructive boy by nature, and he doesn’t want it killed, but others do, especially after all the devastation this monster pike has caused. Friendship, amateur sleuthing, spies, lab-created monstrosities, and so much more make this an engaging and exciting read for both the young and the young at heart.