“Funeral boss was shaking as he edged towards the coffin, like it was going to come to life and eat him. He leant over and put his ear to it. Silence. And then a distant, but definite wailing noise…
‘Don’t even say it, Alex. Just, don’t.’
‘Zombie,’ I said.’”
Hot on the heels of Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink and its follow-up Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury (both selected for the Summer Reading Challenge) comes Jennifer Killick’s hilarious Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse. The third instalment in the series finds our hero Alex and his fellow agent Jess more in control of the bizarre superpowers bestowed upon them by their teacher, Miss Fortress. This time, something strange is happening to the people at Zumba – a full-on fitness class Alex’s mum and grandma attend. After the death – and surprising recovery – of Zumba-goer Mrs Spires, Alex has a new mission. Is Mrs Spires a zombie now? Why does she keep rubbing herself on lamps? And is the friendly Zumba teacher, awesomely called Da-Shon, to blame for the ‘death’ of Mrs Spires? With his superpower of a farting ear, Alex is quickly alerted to any stinking lie, and with Jess’ ability to communicate with animals, it doesn’t take them long to be hot on the Zumbie trail…
Zumbie Apocalypse sees Killick in her stride. Intrigue aplenty, pithy dialogue, and belly-laughs abounding, it’s her funniest Alex Sparrow story yet.
Set in the lead-up to Christmas, family is at its heart – and not just Alex’s. We’re introduced to a cat-with-no-name, the villainous Montgomery McMonaghan’s father. Even Bob the goldfish and his goldfish girlfriend, Elle, are considering starting a family of their own. The many touching friendships extend the idea of family and what family means.
The dogged, over-brimming confidence of Alex is beautifully contrasted by Jess’ more practical side and together, they navigate the Zumbie plot with humour, bravery, and most of all, with love. Killick’s effortless story-telling encompasses all these things while keeping the reader guessing and the pages turning. And the ending is truly tear-jerking in the best possible way.
Exploring family in all its wondrous guises, Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse is another laugh-out-loud, smart, and gripping tale. And with Alex planning on making their adventures into a Hollywood blockbuster – with a few forward rolls and martial arts moves thrown in – maybe one day the bad-A trio of Alex Sparrow stories really will hit the big screen. In 4G. And who wouldn’t want to see (and smell) that?
Read MyBookCorner’s interview with Jennifer Killick.