Hi there readers!
Today is a new day and with it comes a new post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. My recent schedule change has been playing havoc with my online time *grumble* so pardon the momentary break yesterday. Being inundated with choices sometimes can seem like a good things, and truly it can be...but there are those days you simply wish you knew what the "right" choice was, you know? Could just be me but ya know sometimes....whew. Anywho, let's get back to a good version of being overwhelmed, shall we?
It's time to shed some light on another title you don't want to miss...and perhaps explain the "title" of today's post. You see dear readers, the title was chosen to fit the review and since today's book deals with mysteries, mummies, and Middle Grade reading...well, what better way to introduce it! Okay...so I admit it was a bit of a stretch, but hey...it caught your attention, right? ^_^ Now let's focus. If you have a reluctant reader in your family (close or extended) or even if that person is you, today's featured title may be just what the doctor (or librarian) ordered. Ready for a little literary fun? Today's book of choice is....
Chicagoland Detective Agency, Book 2:
For those of you that missed out on the fun in book one (which you can glimpse in my previous review), we meet up with this unlikely little group just after their last adventure that ended with them forming the agency that gives this series its name. This time around...Megan is all EXCITED. Why this time you may ask? Well, to put it quite simply....the BEST singer in the UNIVERSE is coming to their small town! That's right. Sun D'arc is coming to town ladies and gents and guess whose haiku wins her two tickets to meet him? Yep...Megan!
She is beyond stoked to be getting access to the special Q & A session that the fact that her report on it will run in the school newspaper only gains a back row seat to the excitement. Just as he's about to take the stage ... things get a little weird. First, he cuts the session short, barely speaking to anyone (add). Then, his manager, one Vora Schak, appears (not unusual) and looks VERY familiar (definitely unusual) despite her usual lack of presence in the spotlight. Add to that a mysterious new student that keeps popping up all over town, an impromptu backstage advantage, a medallion, and a whole lot of unproductive moping and you have the beginnings of a new case that needs cracking on the double. Will Megan and the crew be able to solve the mystery before it's too late? O_O
Book two of this series and all I can say is...I hope you're having as much fun with it as I am. Seriously! It's a graphic novel with a LOT of story to spare and characters you can't help but enjoy. Megan with her high spirited, haiku writing nature. If light were given a personality and spunk to boot, she'd be it. Raf, her best (well...only....human one at least) friend who's pretty much sick in bed through this adventure...but it doesn't mean that he can't help out and leave his mark on the story as well. Then we have their pal Bradley. Who's he? Oh...just a talking dog that they saved in book one...nothing strange or anything. Did I mention that he narrates the story at times in classic Bogart style? Yep...sure does. Adds a little something extra to it and keeps it fun. The rest of the cast is a rather mixed bag that will keep you guessing. Let's see you have a little evil, some ancient curses, secret identities...yep, "mixed" works well here.
As for the story itself, it turns out to be a "kid" version of the classic book The Maltese Falcon. Now that's not to say that adult readers wouldn't enjoy it (hello....adult speaking here!) but I mean how often do we get to see serious threads of a classic worked into a graphic novel.....successfully? Coming from a non-graphic novel enthusiast...that's saying something too. In my opinion, this wonderful middle grade work will not only entertain readers of today, but will also garner interest in the "original" story for additional reading options. There's never a bad time to revisit the classics!
By book's end, the baddies are uncovered and the case is laid to rest (hehe...small pun there...), leaving readers satisfied for now yet ready for more. No worries though...book three, Night of the Living Dogs, is on the horizon. -- adds to wish list -- In short, a pictorially on point book with a story that moves things along at a rapid pace which asks readers to uncover the mystery along the way...if you can. It's a brief adventure fit for readers young and old, girls and boys, animal and mineral (okay, so maybe not mineral) but one certainly worth taking.
ARC eBook read courtesy of NetGalley and Graphic Universe an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. (THANKS!) To check out this title and more available right now, visit NetGalley online (or on Twitter) and discover a world of electronic reading at your fingertips. For more information on the publisher as well as their full catalog of books, be sure to visit their site. This book was released April 2011 and should be available through your favorite retail outlet should you feel the need to rush right over and grab a copy for yourself.
Until next time...happy reading!