I saw a post about graphic novels, and Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales were mentioned. Sadly, our library system doesn’t have any of that series, but it did have this book. We highly enjoyed Rapunzel’s Revenge, and thought this would be worth checking out.
Genre: science fiction graphic novel
Length: 127 pages
Setting: Earth, far future
Summary: Pipers have attacked Earth, consuming any technology they find in huge bubbles. Humans are reduced to living as barbarians without any technology or in a caravan, continually moving away from hot zones. Three kids find an untouched technology cache, which draws the pipers. One of the pieces is a robotic horse that Strata takes a shine to. She rides the horse away from the attacking pipers, but they follow her. Ultimately, she ends up on an alien ship. There are three aliens on the ship, consuming the technology. They eat the pony, and it stops in the middle of their throats, killing them and returning the technology to earth.
Final thoughts: I wasn’t as impressed with this story. It was an interesting premise – keep the technology away from the aliens – but it just wasn’t very exciting. There were a couple of funny parts. For example, one person agreed to help the kids in exchange for the chance to see movies. Another, in exchange for some alpacas. The end wasn’t very satisfying, though. The aliens died because they choked to death, and then they and their ship just dissolved. All that running and fighting of pipers, and it ends without any fanfare.
The art is realistic, without too much detail in the background. The pipers were quite alien and a little creepy. It’s all done in three colors – black, white, and yellow, which was quite effective. It’s definitely appropriate for a middle grade audience
Title comes from: The robotic horse’s best trick was to stop, which is how it killed the aliens. Of course, it died in the process, but it’s trick saved the kids several times.
Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was too short
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