Will assaults from within and without close a renowned school for minions—leaving the Evil Overlords of the world to draw from rival schools?
Not if Runt Higgins, newest addition to the exclusive Junior Henchman Training program, has anything to say about it. The deck looks stacked, though. A devastating video of panicked Critchlore grads fleeing a group of (apparent!) Girl Explorers has gone viral, and an ongoing string of near disasters prevents recovery. Not only that, a massive explosion in the local graveyard has robbed the school of its chief source of undead new students. Even worse, iron-willed headmaster Dr. Derek Critchlore has suddenly taken to distractedly watching TV soaps and is in danger of being replaced. Kind, thoughtful and so naïve that he’s continually being victimized by pranksters, Runt really isn’t henchman material—but significant clues and loose ends hint that he’ll be achieving a higher station in planned sequels. Moreover, Grau supplies him with loyal friends from half-ogre foster brother Boris to bolt-necked Frank Twenty-five, whose head tends to fly off in a shower of gore when he’s upset. Frequent side jokes and Sutphin’s accomplished caricatures of students, faculty and staff, both human and non-, add comical flourishes.
A droll addition to the magical school genre, worthy of a seat toward the front of the (Harry) Potter-wagon. (pictorial cast list) (Fantasy. 11-13)