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The Eyes of the Killer Robot

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A boy tries to stop a rampaging robot in this “deliciously wicked fun” tale by the author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls (School Library Journal)   When feared Yankees slugger Cliff Bullard goes barnstorming around the northeast, offering $10,000 to any local pitcher who can strike him out, Professor Childermass and Johnny Dixon get a sneaky idea. There’s a local A boy tries to stop a rampaging robot in this “deliciously wicked fun” tale by the author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls (School Library Journal)   When feared Yankees slugger Cliff Bullard goes barnstorming around the northeast, offering $10,000 to any local pitcher who can strike him out, Professor Childermass and Johnny Dixon get a sneaky idea. There’s a local legend about a crackpot inventor who once built a robot capable of throwing a baseball 110 MPH, and the professor thinks that if they find the machine, they can win Bullard’s prize. They discover the rusted old monstrosity in an abandoned workshop and put it back together, piece by piece. But when they screw in the robot’s eyes and it comes to life, they realize they have made a terrible mistake.   As soon as it’s activated, the robot attacks, trying to kill Johnny and the professor. Was it made to be a killing machine, or have its circuits been corroded? To save the town and get a crack at the $10,000, Johnny and the professor will have to tame the steel beast.   The adventure stories featuring Johnny Dixon, from the award-winning author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls, are a delightfully imaginative treat, and this book in the popular series features “a unique plot, marvelous characters, and non-stop suspense” (School Library Journal).


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A boy tries to stop a rampaging robot in this “deliciously wicked fun” tale by the author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls (School Library Journal)   When feared Yankees slugger Cliff Bullard goes barnstorming around the northeast, offering $10,000 to any local pitcher who can strike him out, Professor Childermass and Johnny Dixon get a sneaky idea. There’s a local A boy tries to stop a rampaging robot in this “deliciously wicked fun” tale by the author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls (School Library Journal)   When feared Yankees slugger Cliff Bullard goes barnstorming around the northeast, offering $10,000 to any local pitcher who can strike him out, Professor Childermass and Johnny Dixon get a sneaky idea. There’s a local legend about a crackpot inventor who once built a robot capable of throwing a baseball 110 MPH, and the professor thinks that if they find the machine, they can win Bullard’s prize. They discover the rusted old monstrosity in an abandoned workshop and put it back together, piece by piece. But when they screw in the robot’s eyes and it comes to life, they realize they have made a terrible mistake.   As soon as it’s activated, the robot attacks, trying to kill Johnny and the professor. Was it made to be a killing machine, or have its circuits been corroded? To save the town and get a crack at the $10,000, Johnny and the professor will have to tame the steel beast.   The adventure stories featuring Johnny Dixon, from the award-winning author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls, are a delightfully imaginative treat, and this book in the popular series features “a unique plot, marvelous characters, and non-stop suspense” (School Library Journal).

30 review for The Eyes of the Killer Robot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    As far as John Bellairs and Johnny Dixon goes, I felt this was weaker. Still a good story, but the whole baseball element felt very forced. I enjoyed the 3 book arc the previous story had. It was a great story. This one did not live up to it. All the gang is back in this one and now there is a evil voodoo Robot running around basically. Johnny is being kidnapped. He has suffered some trauma, not wonder he is so jumpy at this point. It is spooky and creepy and a great story overall. I love Johnny As far as John Bellairs and Johnny Dixon goes, I felt this was weaker. Still a good story, but the whole baseball element felt very forced. I enjoyed the 3 book arc the previous story had. It was a great story. This one did not live up to it. All the gang is back in this one and now there is a evil voodoo Robot running around basically. Johnny is being kidnapped. He has suffered some trauma, not wonder he is so jumpy at this point. It is spooky and creepy and a great story overall. I love Johnny Dixon and I will continue on with the series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Gothic horror for children. Bellairs was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid, but this is my first time reading this particular book. The problem with reading Bellairs as an adult is that it seems unbelievable when the characters don't seem to learn anything from book to book - Johnny gets a bad feeling about something and they all brush it off every time, and yet every time this happens, something terrible follows. No lessons are learned. But this was one of the things that was great ab Gothic horror for children. Bellairs was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid, but this is my first time reading this particular book. The problem with reading Bellairs as an adult is that it seems unbelievable when the characters don't seem to learn anything from book to book - Johnny gets a bad feeling about something and they all brush it off every time, and yet every time this happens, something terrible follows. No lessons are learned. But this was one of the things that was great about reading these books as a kid. It didn't matter that the characters followed the same pattern every time, because that's why you were reading the books. Something bad would happen involving wizards or witches or magicians or ghosts or curses or some other vague occult something, it would be scary, but you knew it would be okay in the end. One thing I appreciate about Bellairs is that none of his characters are conventionally attractive in the slightest. Most of them are described in pretty unattractive terms, including the heroes of the story. Professor Childermass is "short and elderly and crabby-looking, with wildly sprouting muttonchop whiskers, gold-rimmed glasses, and a nose that looked like an overripe strawberry." Whereas Johnny is shy, nerdy, and nearly friendless; and Fergie is "a gangly, droopy-faced kid with big ears and a blunt-ended nose." No handsome heroes here. I think it made the characters more relate-able for me when I was a kid.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justin K. Rivers

    Bellairs at his finest. Iconic imagery of the baseball-playing robot with stolen human eyes. The creeping danger Johnny faces. I love how Bellairs gives the villains a lurid goal - to steal Johnny's eyes - and couples that with a gradual invasion of his life, successively removing the blanket of comfort and safety he thought he had. The climax is particularly gratifying. Unlike some of Bellairs' books, where the conflict resolves in a passive way (or an off-stage way) this features a climactic ph Bellairs at his finest. Iconic imagery of the baseball-playing robot with stolen human eyes. The creeping danger Johnny faces. I love how Bellairs gives the villains a lurid goal - to steal Johnny's eyes - and couples that with a gradual invasion of his life, successively removing the blanket of comfort and safety he thought he had. The climax is particularly gratifying. Unlike some of Bellairs' books, where the conflict resolves in a passive way (or an off-stage way) this features a climactic physical showdown that gives Prof. Childermass a chance to shine. The plot is tight and the cliffhangers are convincing. I think it is his best book since The House with a Clock in its Walls.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Serious, can you get a better title that that?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan Yip

    childhood favorite....I Loved all John Bellairs' books! childhood favorite....I Loved all John Bellairs' books!

  6. 5 out of 5

    D.

    The fifth Johnny Dixon book is as big improvement over the previous installment. In this book, Johnny, Fergie, and the Professor have to defeat a supernatural mechanical menace with links to Johnny's Grandfather's past. There are some good, creepy moments here, and the writing is back to Bellair's effortless storytelling. The characters are sharply drawn, and the story moves along nicely. With this being a YA novel from the 1980's, there's nothing terribly nightmare-inducing, but it's still susp The fifth Johnny Dixon book is as big improvement over the previous installment. In this book, Johnny, Fergie, and the Professor have to defeat a supernatural mechanical menace with links to Johnny's Grandfather's past. There are some good, creepy moments here, and the writing is back to Bellair's effortless storytelling. The characters are sharply drawn, and the story moves along nicely. With this being a YA novel from the 1980's, there's nothing terribly nightmare-inducing, but it's still suspenseful and eerie enough to appeal to readers who like that sort of thing. Highly recommended!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    The entire book has a sort of retro feel, as though it inhabits the same sort of historical cul-de-sac as the Peanuts comics and Ray Bradbury stories. I had to explain to my son certain technologies that have since become obsolete, and at three months old he is not expected to know them. The premise is interestingly off-kilter. The bad guys build a killer robot in order to win a baseball contest.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liaken

    I love Bellairs' scary mysteries. I loved them as a child, too. They were just scary enough so I would make a running leap for the bed in the darkened room, but not scary enough to keep me awake. I also feel like he takes his young characters seriously. That even when the young mind is passionately irrational, it is still real. I read the copy with Edward Gorey's perfect illustrations. Really, he's the perfect choice. I love Bellairs' scary mysteries. I loved them as a child, too. They were just scary enough so I would make a running leap for the bed in the darkened room, but not scary enough to keep me awake. I also feel like he takes his young characters seriously. That even when the young mind is passionately irrational, it is still real. I read the copy with Edward Gorey's perfect illustrations. Really, he's the perfect choice.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fabian Ceballos

    Have you ever played a sport with a robot or some kind? Well in this story in a old school baseball team they used this robot which's called the Sloane. This book overall is 5 stars because its really interesting and really explains things. This book is fiction and has some horror parts in it. Have you ever played a sport with a robot or some kind? Well in this story in a old school baseball team they used this robot which's called the Sloane. This book overall is 5 stars because its really interesting and really explains things. This book is fiction and has some horror parts in it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    I read this book when I was about 10, It freaked me out! I always loved that about John Bellairs' books. (not all of them did this, but the writing always sucked me in) I read this book when I was about 10, It freaked me out! I always loved that about John Bellairs' books. (not all of them did this, but the writing always sucked me in)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cupof Tea

    "Scary" was my one-word description in grade 7. "Scary" was my one-word description in grade 7.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chance Romano

    This has to be one of my favorite books. It is such an exciting, lip biting book. I was on the edge of my seat every second, and it just gets better every page.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    I read this book long, long ago when I was young, and I wasn't able to sleep after. I read this book long, long ago when I was young, and I wasn't able to sleep after.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    Kindle Unlimited Free Trial | I think Bellairs missed a great opportunity in this one: (view spoiler)[when Johnny asked why his eyes would have been used to hurt grampa, the response was about how useful a near-sighted robot would be. Since the robot would look like Johnny, Sloane would be able to send it into Johnny's house unsuspected, able to make grampa suffer apparently at Johnny's hands. Then, conceivably, show grampa that this wasn't his grandson, just Johnny's eyes, which would break gra Kindle Unlimited Free Trial | I think Bellairs missed a great opportunity in this one: (view spoiler)[when Johnny asked why his eyes would have been used to hurt grampa, the response was about how useful a near-sighted robot would be. Since the robot would look like Johnny, Sloane would be able to send it into Johnny's house unsuspected, able to make grampa suffer apparently at Johnny's hands. Then, conceivably, show grampa that this wasn't his grandson, just Johnny's eyes, which would break grampa. Why ignore that in a book willing to talk about kidnapping, removing living eyes without anesthetic, and murder, in favor of "a near-sighted robot is easier to control"? (hide spoiler)]

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather Jackson

    Eye-Opener I only vaguely remember reading this one, but I think I found the passage that explains why I identify with Johnny Dixon. I was severely near-sighted, which constantly progressed. I lived in fear of blindness my entire life. When I re-read this passage, I remembered why I loved Johnny Dixon: "Since he had poor eyesight, Johnny was afraid of going blind, and he often tormented himself with fears of what it would be like if the world around him was just a wall of blackness." Eye-Opener I only vaguely remember reading this one, but I think I found the passage that explains why I identify with Johnny Dixon. I was severely near-sighted, which constantly progressed. I lived in fear of blindness my entire life. When I re-read this passage, I remembered why I loved Johnny Dixon: "Since he had poor eyesight, Johnny was afraid of going blind, and he often tormented himself with fears of what it would be like if the world around him was just a wall of blackness."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A helpful ghost and a creepy married couple and some robots and baseball. I'm really enjoying reading these in order of publication--you can see Bellairs getting a little wilder with his plots. This book is probably the most topsy-turvy of the series so far, and I'd be surprised but Trolley to Yesterday--my favorite of the books despite being the most ludicrous--is next. A helpful ghost and a creepy married couple and some robots and baseball. I'm really enjoying reading these in order of publication--you can see Bellairs getting a little wilder with his plots. This book is probably the most topsy-turvy of the series so far, and I'd be surprised but Trolley to Yesterday--my favorite of the books despite being the most ludicrous--is next.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tanvir

    This book rocks. This book scared me so much I was hiding in my bedsheets. This book is the typical Dr. Frankenstien book. i would love to review this book. LOL. I am. Oh well, read this book. I triple doggy, dare ya!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rey

    The creepy baseball-playing killer robot with human eyes scared me senseless as a kid. The dark Edward Gorey illustrations capture the mood perfectly. But like most John Bellairs stories (which were written mainly for kids), it was such a quick and fun read, that I wish there was more of it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kucharski

    What a quirky story, a possessed robot! This time Johnny's faced with an evil man trying to use him as a way to hurt his Grandpa! The story dragged a bit in the middle but in general, the oddness of the entire concept made this in interesting read. What a quirky story, a possessed robot! This time Johnny's faced with an evil man trying to use him as a way to hurt his Grandpa! The story dragged a bit in the middle but in general, the oddness of the entire concept made this in interesting read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I'd read this as a kid, probably in 4th or 5th grade and some of the scenes really stuck with me over the years. Reading it now, it seems moderately goofy. There are some fairly spooky bit, but it never really falls over into scary. I'd read this as a kid, probably in 4th or 5th grade and some of the scenes really stuck with me over the years. Reading it now, it seems moderately goofy. There are some fairly spooky bit, but it never really falls over into scary.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marjanne

    The fifth book in the Johnny Dixion series. Don't let the cover deceive you, there is a more interesting story in this book than it would lead you to believe. I was pleasantly surprised. The fifth book in the Johnny Dixion series. Don't let the cover deceive you, there is a more interesting story in this book than it would lead you to believe. I was pleasantly surprised.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Slower paced and less scary than some of his other ones, like The Curse of the Blue Figurine.

  23. 5 out of 5

    PokeyPuppy

    More Bellairs! So fun...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Mustread

    Grades 4+ Johnny Dixon is kidnapped by an evil scientist who has invented a horrifying robot that requires human eyes.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Spooky! Hilarious dialogue! Fun!

  26. 5 out of 5

    KK C

    My 4th grade teacher read us this book and I still remember it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Kempter

    From my childhood, I remember reading the Bellairs novels. I'm going to give it a tentative nostalgia-filled 4 stars... I'll come back and rate this and others as I re-read them. From my childhood, I remember reading the Bellairs novels. I'm going to give it a tentative nostalgia-filled 4 stars... I'll come back and rate this and others as I re-read them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    obviously still supernatural, but not as much as some of the ones immediately preceeding this

  29. 5 out of 5

    Apurva Khadye

    Good story, however I missed usual scary element of Bellaire. Johnny didn't do much except for being a bait every time. Professor teamed up with fergie in this one and that turned out surprisingly well. Baseball and whole robot thing however, didn't go down well as I had expected. Still s wonderful read. Good story, however I missed usual scary element of Bellaire. Johnny didn't do much except for being a bait every time. Professor teamed up with fergie in this one and that turned out surprisingly well. Baseball and whole robot thing however, didn't go down well as I had expected. Still s wonderful read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    While a Johnny Dixon mystery is always a fun romp I didn't love this one as much as some of the others. The baseball part should have won me over but it actually rang false to me. The story just felt too loose to work for me and I just couldn't love it like some of the others. Still, a fun read. While a Johnny Dixon mystery is always a fun romp I didn't love this one as much as some of the others. The baseball part should have won me over but it actually rang false to me. The story just felt too loose to work for me and I just couldn't love it like some of the others. Still, a fun read.

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