Perhaps Rider’s most thrilling adventure to date, this spinoff delivers a hearty dose of intrigue, dark secrets, and...

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SCORPIA

AN ALEX RIDER GRAPHIC NOVEL

From the Alex Rider series

In this graphic-novel adaptation of the popular series, teenage spy Alex Rider must infiltrate a ruthless gang of assassins in possession of a terrifying deadly weapon.

On a school trip to Venice, the 14-year-old, white sometimes-spy for MI6 begins investigating Scorpia, a syndicate of murderers for hire rumored to have ties to his deceased father. When Scorpia discovers Alex’s lineage, spy training, and ties to British intelligence, they manipulate him into joining their ranks. As he tries to figure out where his loyalties should lie, Alex learns that Scorpia is threatening to release a weapon that could slay thousands of innocent British schoolchildren; can he stop them before it’s too late? With pulse-pounding plotting, a cinematic scope, and a nail-biting cliffhanger, this clever spinoff makes for an entertaining accompaniment to the prose series. Unlike previous installments, this volume shrugs off the nifty gadgets and episodic feel for a more brooding exploration of the intelligence world. Longtime fans may notice a subtle artistic shift to a more Western-style look to the characters as new illustrators Viecili and Brown replace the previous artists’ decidedly manga-inspired approach. Though the other volumes in this series can stand alone, this one and its dovetailing predecessor, Eagle Strike, illustrated by Kanako and Yuzuru, will be simultaneously released.

Perhaps Rider’s most thrilling adventure to date, this spinoff delivers a hearty dose of intrigue, dark secrets, and breakneck action. (Graphic adaptation. 8-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9257-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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Good fun with a monster of a cliffhanger.

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE SKELETON ROAD

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 6

The monster-fighting gang from Wakefield departs on a post-apocalyptic road trip.

In this sixth installment of the heavily illustrated, Netflix-adapted series, quirky Jack Sullivan and his friends June, Quint, and Dirk finally leave their creature-ridden town in search of the ultimate baddie, Thrull, who previously deceived them. The quartet takes their tricked-out ride (an armored RV named Bad Mama) onto the open road (with Jack’s Zombie Squad in tow) to find the Outpost, where they believe a certain monster will be able to give them the location of the evil Tower where they believe Thrull now resides. Of course, the journey is littered with all kinds of nightmarish beasts and pitfalls (including an epic water park battle and slime-dripping baby monster), but the kids persist, armed with their endless gadgets and quick thinking. As the group races toward Thrull, the action culminates with an achingly tantalizing cliffhanger; expect audible groans and vociferous demands for the next installment. Fans of this series will revel in this fast-paced escapade with its recognizable black-and-white illustrations and trademark humor. Readers new to the series or those who are only familiar with the animated show may be a bit put off by this later volume that relies heavily on its own language of monsters and weapons. Jack, June, and Dirk are light-skinned; Quint is dark-skinned.

Good fun with a monster of a cliffhanger. (Graphic fiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984835-34-5

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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