Attack of the Killer Komodos, by Summer Rachel Short

If kids surviving un-natural, vicious, creatures and the perils of the natural wilderness is your jam, you must read Attack of the Killer Komodos, by Summer Rachel Short (September 2021, Simon & Schuster).  

Maggie and her best friend, Nate, saved their town from mutant mushrooms, and saved Maggie's older brother, Ezra (and many others) from the zombification they caused (as told in The Mutant Mushroom Takeover-my review).  Now the three kids  (and their grandma) are in Yellowstone National Park, where Maggie's dad is a ranger.  It's supposed to be a fun family vacation, but it's clear to Maggie that something is bothering her dad...

And then he goes off on ranger business, and her grandma goes off to buy supplies, and the kids are all alone when a major earthquake strikes.  The way into town is cut off by a new geyser, but the walkie-talkie still works, and Dad lets them know where he is, and that he is injured.  So instead of staying put like the are supposed, they set off to hike the four miles to get to him.

It is not your average walk in the park.

To Nate's fascinated delight (cryptozoology is his passion), the fauna of the park now includes strange  and deadly creatures.  Komodo dragons with stingers, snakes with wings, giant mosquitos, and more, make the four miles almost impossible.  Where did they come from?

Ezra is preoccupied by caring for a strange mutant snake, and Nate's mind races with conspiracy theories and he's determined to document the bizarre creatures for his you-tube channel. Maggie is more practical; she anxious to find a factual answer to what's happening, and a chance discovery of a hidden lab supports her belief that a rouge scientist must be involved.  But will they survive long enough to find out?  

Their journey is full of peril upon peril, not just from the creatures, but from the ordinary hazards of being in cut off in a wilderness being shaken by earthquakes. The walkie-talkie no longer works, food and water run low, and they keep getting hurt....and the komodo dragon-things seem to be hunting them!

It's not quite to my own personal taste (I like survival stories, but prefer them meditative rather than tumultuous), but I can image it hitting the spot for many kids.  Readers who like fast-paced action will love it just for that; readers who like fantastical creatures will love it for the menagerie presented here (especially Ezra's snake friend), and scientifically-minded kids will appreciate how much of it is actually based in real science (as explained in the end-notes).

1 comment:

  1. I bet kids will really enjoy this one too. I've been intrigued by this one since I featured Summer on my blog.


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