The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond
Illustrator, Douglas Holgate
Viking 2018 Hardback
Jack Sullivan is back, fighting monsters and zombies (Boosh! Mergh! Boom!) with his trio of friends in Max Brallier’s The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond, the fourth in this popular illustrated youth-thriller novel series. This time, it’s a “Monster Apocalypse,” when an inter-dimensional portal opens above the earth, flinging out monsters and “creepy creatures,” followed by a “zombie plague.”
In the first novel, Jack realized he is not the lone survivor.
In the first novel, Jack realized he is not the lone survivor. His new-found buddies were Quint, a talented builder; Dirk, wild and strong, and Jack’s “buddy crush,” June Del Toro. Together, they fend off assorted brutes and creeps from their “tricked out” treehouse, even managing to make friends with a few friendly monsters.
Now, it is December, and June Del Toro is lamenting the loss of her family and Christmas. Her buddies meanwhile are scavenging their abandoned town to decorate for a non-traditional, super-duper celebration when a new human arrives, riding atop a “fanged beast.” The Villainess, wearing cat eye sunglasses, black cape, and Yuppie-plaid skirt swings toward Jack and snaps up his prize monster-crushing weapon, The Louisville Slicer.
Thrills ensue as Jack and group defend themselves against the Villainess, aligned with the “diabolical ultra-villain,” the Destructor of Worlds, who’s in need of a fresh zombie. The Kids dash through a field of eyeballs. A zombie bites Quint, and to add humor, they get stuck inside a working carwash. It’s like a video game filled with thrills (Krak! Skreeech! Thwack!) and lots of laughs. But woven throughout the story is also a special message, about friendship and family.
rallier has an extraordinary imagination that appeals to young readers, regardless of gender.
My granddaughter said she liked the first book, but after that, she was finished with monsters. It appears this book series is more popular with boys than girls, probably not surprisingly. Still, Brallier has an extraordinary imagination that appeals to young readers, regardless of gender. And his companion illustrator, Douglas Holgate, depicts super-action characters that can charm any reader.