Sunday 18 June 2023

Piggy: Infected

Piggy: Infected by Terrance Crawford, illustrated by Dan Widdowson (Scholastic Australia) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN: 9781338848120

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Ben’s friend, Ollie, is missing, and the island of Lucella – the only home Ben has ever known – is slowing being taken over by the Infected, people who have been transformed into zombie-like creatures. In his search for his friend, Ben comes across a handful of others who have avoided the contagion, but they soon fall victim to the mindless monsters. Can Ben survive for long enough to locate Ollie and find a cure for the illness sweeping the island?

Based on the popular Roblox game Piggy, Terrance Crawford’s story is equally action-packed and full of dark horror (so it’s only suitable for kids aged ten and older). Violence is described in a cartoon-like way to ensure that the text is not overly gory and frightening for readers, while edge-of-your-seat suspense makes this book a page-turner from the very start.

Dan Widdowson’s crisp black-and-white drawings are scattered throughout the chapters. They help children to visualise the non-human characters, as well as the variety of settings in which Ben finds himself during the adventure. Most importantly, they act as a counterweight to the heaviness of the horror in the text.

Fast paced and engrossing, Piggy: Infected will encourage kids to move away from computer games and jump into reading. With several mysteries left unsolved at the end of the book, youngsters will be eager for the next instalment in this new series.

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