The Noctural Brigade returns in the third installment in the eponymous series.
Pangolin Tobin, sugar glider Bismark, and red fox Dawn are enjoying a meteor shower while sitting under Bismark’s pomelo tree when suddenly, a ball of blinding light drops from the sky into the forest. Shaken and bruised, the trio finds itself in an altered landscape. When the friends locate the meteor, a mysterious and strange-looking creature emerges from it. The aye-aye, whose name is Iris, warns them of invaders who come from this “star-stone.” Unsettled from their run-in with Iris, the Brigade runs across a group of animals who have been poisoned after eating some fallen pomelos. With time working against them, the Nocturnal Brigade must find a cure for their sick friends and avoid the clutches of the meteor invaders. Hecht serves up both a curious adventure and interesting zoological facts in this volume. Her descriptions of flora, fauna, and natural phenomena are vivid and immediate. The multilingual and loquacious Bismark fuels a few good laughs; Tobin balances his clumsiness with limitless kindness; and brave Dawn keeps the crew focused on their mission. Likewise, the villains of the story display great depth of character. They remind readers that many times bad deeds arise from pain and mistreatment in the past.
Fresh and fun: the brigade delights as it explores another forest mystery. (Fantasy. 7-12)