Paraffin, Vermont, is home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. There, seventeen-year-old Poppy finds something dark and unsettling: a room filled with dozens of startlingly lifelike wax sculptures. Later, she’s shocked when one of the figures—a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to know what he is—jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. Poppy wants to return him to the factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop.
With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy tries to find out who was behind the fire. Along the way, she discovers that some of the townspeople are starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can they extinguish the evil plot?
Damico (Hellhole) delivers a deliriously off-the-wall tale of small-town horror, in which 17-year-old Poppy Palladino has to persuade her friends that key members of the community are being replaced by living wax duplicates, all part of a fiendish plot orchestrated by the mysterious owners of the town's famous candle factory, "a wax-poured juggernaut of industry." Poppy isn't sure who to trust when neighbors and authorities alike start acting strangely; matters are further complicated when she gets a wax companion of her own, Dud, who looks like an ordinary teenage guy but literally knows nothing about the real world. Now they have to save Paraffin, Vt., from the invasion of the Hollow Ones before all that's left of the townspeople are uniquely-scented candles at bargain prices. Poppy's bone-dry sense of humor provides laughs throughout this creepy tale of body-snatchers ("Dud wasn't capable of understanding the concept of nipples, much less love"), but the real strength of the story lies in Damico's wholehearted commitment to her bizarre plot and its outlandish twists. Ages 12 up.
Elegantly Quirky & Amazing
Wax is amazing, simply put.
I devoured the book in a single day; I found myself laughing and gasping, raising my eyebrow and laughing some more.
Damico has a wonderful grasp on pacing; the story moves along quickly enough to keep you engaged, but allows breaks for those belly-laugh moments. Her characters are beautifully fleshed out and feel intimately real.
Wax also has an incredibly individual and unique plot, one I’ve never quite seen before but I am overjoyed that I have. 11/10!