Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MG Book Review: Killer Pizza, by Greg Taylor

General Information
Publisher:  Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)
Year of publication:  2009
# of chapters:  41 + prologue & epilogue
(4 sections)
# of pages:  346
Genre:  Horror
Website:  us.macmillan.com/killerpizza/GregTaylor


Plot summary: (from Amazon.com)

Pizza you’ll die for!

Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of a team. But none of them are prepared for what’s really going on at Killer Pizza: It’s a front for a monster-hunting organization!

Learning to cook pizzas is one thing, but killing hideously terrifying monsters? That’s a whole other story. Still, if Toby quits Killer Pizza, will monsters take over his town?

Next book in the series:  #2: The Slice


Positive Points
The main character's voice was great.  Toby is an average kid with a passion for cooking nobody knows about. I could relate with him in many ways. His growth from an insecure kid to a bold, courageous monster fighter is gradual and realistic.  I found myself cheering for him and celebrating his success.

The Guttata is a unique kind of monster I didn't know about. So refreshing! Makes a change from werewolves and vampires. I did a quick Google search, thinking it may be a mythical creature or some other legendary monster, but I couldn't find anything remotely close to the Guttata in the book, so my conclusion is that it's totally made up.

The story was entertaining and action packed, with many unexpected twists.  It hooked me right from the beginning and kept my attention throughout.


Negative Points
The book is clearly written from Toby's POV from beginning to end, but sometimes other characters' thoughts and feelings are expressed, which Toby couldn't possibly know.  There are many POVs throughout the book.  That's fine when sections are clearly defined between each character's POV, but in this case, they were sometimes simultaneous.


What makes this book unique
The monster, of course! And what other book do you know has a pizza place that serves as a cover for a monster fighting organization?


Overall Impression
I normally don't read horror, even in children's books, but two of my kids read it and kept taking it at the library to read it again, so I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.  Not bad for a genre I don't like.  They're looking for book two right now.  I think I'll pass. Not that it's not well written, but horror is not really my thing. Call me fluffy.


My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:

4 comments:

Gina C said...

love this premise! it's silly enough to counter the scary, i think :)

Jack said...

Another great review, Annie! I think I mentioned this in another post, if I haven't, here it is: Your reviews are great because I can see at a glance what I'm interested in most by the headings you supply (Positive Points, Negative Points, etc.) I don't have to guess where the good is in your reviews.

Thanks for that. Very helpful! :D

Marcia said...

Horror isn't really my thing, either, but this sounds funny. Humor goes a long way. :)

Annie McMahon said...

Marcia and Gina, yes, there's definitely some humor in this book. It's not all just gruesome horror. The monster doesn't have a sense of humor, though. :D

And thank you Jack for your encouraging comment!

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