A cozy and atmospheric read.


From the Legends of Eerie-on-Sea series , Vol. 4

This November is “NOPE-vember,” Herbie Lemon tells Violet Parma, meaning no risky adventures, but spoiler alert: Perilous mysteries are Eerie-on-Sea’s stock in trade.

Sebastian Eels, the sleuths’ slimy, would-be nemesis, returns to Eerie to refurbish and reopen Festergrimm’s Eerie Waxworks. While Herbie and Vi doubt Eels’ good intentions, their adult allies are less wary. When the bookstore mermonkey dispenses Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Jenny assumes it means Eels deserves a second chance. Dr. Thalassi hopes the gallery refurbishment will result in new exhibits for his Eerie Museum. Dismayed by Eels’ plan, Mrs. Fossil reveals a secret: She’s the caretaker of the gallery that was built by her ancestor Felix Fossil when he was hired to collect and repair the remains of Ludo Festergrimm’s creations. Ludo’s clockwork wonders included a giant robot intended to find Pandora, his missing daughter, but the robot’s deadly rampage resulted in the destruction of both itself and its maker. The gallery is now a ruin. The train that once meandered through the spooky gallery’s decaying waxworks sits motionless on tracks that descend in darkness to lower floors and exhibits. As creepy mysteries proliferate, Herbie senses Pandora’s story is connected to his—but doesn’t know how or why. While series fans know what to expect, the plot’s familiar contours deliver a few surprises along the way. As usual, the quirky art serves as witty counterpoint to Herbie’s stoic narration while Eerie’s Saint Dismal nicely embodies the English-seaside-in-the-off-season setting.

A cozy and atmospheric read. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2742-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

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From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.


From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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