Flying Mutant Zombie Rats by Kat de Falla
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (83 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Summer vacation is almost here! And Pea O’Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long!
But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes.
But when the zombie rats attack a neighbor man, the boys have to enlist the help of a graveyard looney and the city’s stray cats. With time running out, Pea and his gang track the monsters to the city’s sewer system. But in the city sewer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s eat…or get eaten.
Saving the world doesn’t leave a lot of time for cool, new bike tricks. Can Pea do both?
Pea was great. I enjoyed seeing how he reacted to the creatures that came through the portal. He was cautious and brave at the same time. This character also didn’t seem to have a problem acknowledging the funny side of what was happening. What really made me like him, though, were the jokes the narrator cracked about his situation. They came across to me as something that Pea would have really appreciated had he been able to hear them.
There were some pacing issues in the beginning of this story. The characters were all given complete introductions before the flying mutant zombie rats showed up. While I liked getting to know them, I would have preferred to jump into the rat invasion more quickly. There would have been time later on to explain certain parts of the characters’ backstories after they first met the the flying mutants.
The talking cat, Maximillian, was my favorite character in this book. One of the reasons why I find cats so fascinating is that they don’t always respond to humans the way we’d expect them to. They reject certain things that I would have assumed they would like, and they love other things that I never would have guessed would be appealing to them. Seeing how Maximillian responded to Pea’s crisis was a highlight of the plot for me. It was incredibly cat-like in both predictable and unpredictable ways!
I’d recommend Flying Mutant Zombie Rats to anyone in the mood for something wacky.