Wednesday 24 November 2021

The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race

The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate (HarperCollins) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN: 9780008491338

 Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

 In the seventh book of the bestselling The Last Kids on Earth series, Jack Sullivan and his friends are on their way to the strange Tower when a ginormous centipede called the Mallusc sucks them up. But rather than becoming monster food, they find themselves in the world’s biggest mall, which is attached to the centipede’s back. It is a city of sorts, populated by thousands of different monsters, which is ruled over by a giant rat and the kids’ nemesis, Evie Snark. Can Jack take on Evie and the rat to become mayor of Mallusc City, and save the residents when the terrifying Thrull attacks the Mallusc?

 Max Brallier’s story starts at full throttle, and barely takes its foot off the gas. Kids aged eight and over will be mesmerised by the thrills and spills, monsters and zombies, as Jack tackles the challenges of wresting leadership from his foes. Humour pings across the fast-paced pages, ensuring that even the most reluctant of readers will enjoy this energetic adventure. It is helpful if youngsters have read the previous books, as this will orientate them in the complex Last Kids universe.

 A freelance comic book artist, Douglas Holgate uses his exceptional drawing skill to add an extra layer of madcap mayhem to the story. The dynamic black-and-white illustrations are brimming with eye-catching detail, while speech bubbles pop up periodically to give the characters a strong voice at important moments.

 Featuring a brilliant blend of text and images whirling across the pages, The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race is sure to be a favourite with middle-grade readers who adore action and absurdity. They’ll return to the book again and again, determined to catch every last joke and reference that speeds by on each spread.

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