REVIEW: Revenge of Zombert (The Zombert Chronicles Book 3) by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Ryan Andrews
In the final episode of the ZomBert Chronicles, can Bert and Mellie foil a plot to turn the entire town of Lambert into ravenous zombie consumers?
A thrilling finale to an arch mystery-adventure series pits Bert the cat against the infamous YummCo Labs. Bert was a bedraggled stray before nine-year-old Mellie Gore adopted him—and has already escaped from YummCo once, vowing to find a way back to free the other captives. Now the Yumms have nabbed Bert again, and he wants revenge. Mellie’s plans to rescue her pet are interrupted when the entire town, including her own parents, begin turning into YummCo-product-consuming zombies. And why is Mellie herself suddenly starved for food to fuel her buzzing brain? What exactly is happening at the YummCo Labs? With trademark wit and a taste for the playfully macabre, award-winning creators Kara LaReau and Ryan Andrews close out the ZomBert Chronicles with a funny and suspenseful flourish.
Fair warning to adults that the book includes mention of lab animals, experiments, and the off screen death of animals. We aren’t the generation that was traumatized by the death of Bambi’s mother but parents might want to screen this one first.
Dear Ms. LaReau,
At last, at last – the next installment of the Zombert Chronicles. And I’ve got to say, it’s not a moment too soon as the last book ended on a cliffhanger. Mellie and her – rather unusual – pet cat Bert appeared to be up to their necks in trouble with a local company that might not be as wholesome as they try to make themselves seem. Now Bert’s been catnapped, something has happened to Mellie, the only people who can help her are her middle school friends, and everyone in town is now a … product buying zombie? Can Mellie and Friends save themselves, the town, the world, and Bert?
At this point in The Zombert Chronicles I think people would be lost if they started here. Yes, there is some recapping but we jump right into what’s happening and I don’t think this is the place to begin. Things are dark, very dark. The townspeople seem to be under the influence of something which is turning them into mindless, eating, uber consumers who are willing to run up their credit cards and fight over the last package of YummCo foods in the YummCo store while listening to the endless YummCo jingle.
Mellie and her friends are trying to figure out what has gone wrong and how to fix it – if a bunch of pre-teens possibly can. And Bert is back in the evil labs of the company from which he escaped in book one.
There’s a lot going on even if the 8-12 year olds to whom this series is being pitched don’t catch on to what it’s saying about consumerism, data mining, and the fact that Big Companies are invading everyday life. That’s in addition to kids saving the day and oh, yes Zombert might finally discover what is behind the experiments he and his siblings were subjected to.
I enjoyed watching Mellie and Friends use their brains to outsmart the villains and – again – seeing the loving relationship she and Bert have built. The villains are totally slapstick although their villainy is toned down for pre-teen consumption. I had thought this would be the end of the series but from the ending, there could be more adventures for Mellie and Bert. At least Bert has realized that leaving the remains of his wild caught dinners on Mellie’s pillow doesn’t thrill her. B