Friday, August 25, 2017

Middle-Grade Review: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

Last winter, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the graphic novel, Mighty Jack, by Ben Hatke, so I was eager to read the sequel to this middle-grade fantasy, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King. It did not disappoint, with more adventure, humor, and lots of fun.

I’ll avoid any spoilers, in case you haven’t read the first book, Mighty Jack, yet. As book 2 opens, Jack and Lilly are climbing up – you guessed it – giant vines that grew out of their fantastical garden, following Maddie, Jack’s little sister, who is in need of saving. Just as in Jack and the Beanstalk, these vines lead them into a whole different world, complete with an evil ogre. Along the way to find Maddie, Jack and Lilly encounter hordes of rats, weird hairy things that live in the pipes, small goblins, and a huge Goblin King who presides over the goblins malevolently.

Lilly feels a special affinity for the little (and adorable) goblins after they save her life, so she is determined to help them get out from under the evil Goblin King’s control. However, the Goblin King decides that Lilly would make a perfect bride. Of course, Lilly is strong and brave and will not marry the Goblin King without a fight. There are plenty of exciting fights in this novel. Throughout all of this, Jack and Lilly still must save Maddie.

Two pages from Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
As with the first book, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King is filled with action, adventure, and suspense. The myriad fantastical creatures are imaginative and amusing creations, and there is plenty of humor amid the tension. The graphics are gorgeous, multi-colored drawings featuring realistic human characters and creative and mildly gruesome or scary and/or cute fantasy characters. It’s an engaging and compelling story with a happy ending that wraps up this story while leaving room for the trio’s next exciting adventure.

207 pages, First Second

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Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
by  Dav PilkeyTrade Paperback
Mighty Jack
by  Dav PilkeyTrade Paperback

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