Can young spacefarer Celeste astrogate through 10 mazes, each one with distinct challenges, in time to save the universe from becoming snack food?
Uh-oh, “revolting villain” Reducto has invented a vacuum that miniaturizes and sucks up whole galaxies (“Better than popcorn,” he chortles, popping a planet into his mouth). The red-haired, light-skinned rescuer, with her three-eyed, green sidekick, Neutrino, is going to need plenty of help to reach Planet Maz, sneak past the evil inventor’s defenses, and turn the device off. Plainly sympathizing with the bad guy, Méhée concocts a series of fiendishly clever tangles to impede the mission, featuring an array of spinners and flaps that need to be set in just the right ways to open electrical circuits or clear routes that avoid black holes and other hazards…not to mention items to collect or pick out from masses of similar ones, a maze that requires a blind start through one of several die-cut holes, and another that physically floats over a starscape strewn with toothy monsters. Better (or worse) yet, the whole mission turns out to be largely a warm-up for the task of reconstituting the universe and then returning home—both accomplished by negotiating a set of even more bewildering mazes including two that unfold to humongous size. Mercifully, there’s a visual key at the end.
Fiendish. (Novelty. 6-9)