REVIEW: Rise of ZomBert (The Zombert Chronicles) by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Ryan Andrews
Could Bert really be a zombie cat? Two friends put their brains together to find out in a wry new mystery series.
While helping her best friend, Danny, film his latest horror flick, Mellie discovers a scraggly cat behind a dumpster outside the YummCo Foods factory. Mellie names the stray Bert and hides him in her room, knowing her parents won’t let her keep him. But soon Bert has decapitated all her stuffed animals, and before long he is leaving the headless corpses of birds and mice as gifts for her. Danny is convinced the cat is a zombie, living on the brains of his victims. But is that what is really going on? Award-winning author Kara LaReau lets loose a fresh and sharply funny new mystery series, with an irresistible touch of the macabre. Fans of creepy stories and animal lovers alike will devour this fast-moving first episode in one gulp.
Dear Ms. LaReau,
I’m a bit late reading the start of this kid’s mystery series but I’m on board for the fur-ther adventures of Bert, the escaped lab cat. Yeah, Burt isn’t your standard cute cat character. Initially he’s scrawny, weak, smells, and has a torn and bloody ear. But something about him gets heroine Mellie to zip him up in her hoodie and take him home. Luckily Mellie’s (standard out of the picture) parents let her “free range” and barely notice when she comes and goes.
But there’s danger lurking in town as the lab from which Bert escaped is determined to get him back. Why? We don’t know. Bert is determined to get better despite the awful food (hey, she spent her entire savings for a lab grade microscope for that!) Mellie offers him. Bert would much rather be outside – stalking, hunting. He prefers the heads, thank you, but in gratitude for helping him he will leave the bodies for Mellie. He’s puzzled that she isn’t more excited.
As the story ends, Mellie and Danny are starting to wonder – just what is Bert. Is he really a zombie cat? Who were the people chasing them one night when they were out searching for Bert? I’m as eager to discover the next chapter – complete with illustrations – as they are ’cause I have a feeling Bert’s going to open a can of kitty whoop ass on someone. B