Readers caught up in the action will not mind the gaps.

FURIOUS JONES AND THE ASSASSIN'S SECRET

The teenage years are usually a time of self-exploration, but for Furious Jones, it’s a time to explore his family history.

Furious (yes, that’s his real name) has been living with his chief-of-police grandfather in peaceful Connecticut since his mother’s recent shooting death. When he hears that his father, a famous author of best-selling spy novels, is giving a speech in New York City, Furious slips away to be there. Hoping to reconnect with the only parent he has left, he instead witnesses his father’s murder, in a manner uncannily like his mother’s. It turns out his mother had been an assassin for the CIA, and Furious’ father’s books were based on his mother’s exploits. Now the family has been targeted by the mob, and it appears the CIA may not have their best interests at heart, either. Furious has no choice but to go on the run when his grandfather too is murdered: It’s clear that Furious is next. Working from clues planted in his father’s last book, the 12-year-old heads to the small town in the Midwest where his mother was gunned down, there to begin his quest for revenge. Credibility and questions of morality take a back seat to action as Furious dashes from one plot twist to the next, sparing little time for introspection.

Readers caught up in the action will not mind the gaps. (Thriller. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7337-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH

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-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.

SCAREDY CAT

Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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