Sid, Axl, and Ivan volunteer to make a late-night fast-food run for the high school theater crew, and when they return, they find themselves. Not in a deep, metaphoric sense: They find copies of themselves onstage. As they look closer, they begin to realize that the world around them isn’t quite right. Turns out, when they went to the taco place across town, they actually crossed into an alien dimension that’s eerily similar to their world. The aliens have made sinister copies of cars, buildings, and people—and they all want to get Sid, Axl, and Ivan. Now the group will have to use their wits, their truck, and even their windshield scraper to escape! But they may be too late. They may now be copies themselves . . .
Apocalypse Taco Review
I did not expect that the first five star rating I would give in 2019 would go to a graphic novel, let alone a middle-grade one. (Keep in mind that reviews are not always posted in the order books are read! It can depend on release dates.) However, Apocalypse Taco bothered me enough (in a good way) that I actually had to check and verify it was a kid’s book! Even in black and white, the illustrations and story in this novel were enough to get my imagination going. (Not to burrito around the bush, but if your kiddo gets nightmares easily, I’d probably avoid this one.)
There was more than one panel in this novel that had my scalp crawling. Nathan Hale has a wicked imagination and the world that he conjures up in Apocalypse Taco is a terrifying one. It started so innocently that I think the sheer twistedness of it caught me off guard. The ending of it had me leaning away from my e-reader and saying some words that don’t belong in a middle-grade graphic novel review.
Apart from the “Eww, gross!” factor, this is a fast-paced novel with clear plot, and lots of action. The panels are laid out in an organized, easy-to-read fashion. The language is appropriate, and the middle-graders act their age. The length is perfect, as well.
I had planned on having a little bit of fun with this review, peppering it with more food puns, given the title. But, it’s hard to wanna taco ‘bout food when the book you’ve read has put you off even fake Mexican food for at least a few days.
Overall, Apocalypse Taco feels like a Twilight Zone/ Outer Limits episode, and I highly recommend it. If your children (or you) like things creepily off-kilter, it’ll be right up your alley. I will be recommending this to my local library and then checking it out as soon as they get it as I cannot wait to see it in color. I’ll also be checking out more work from Nathan Hale in general.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Kali Krew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
I love it that this one caught you by surprise. It sure sounds like a fun one and something I’d love too!
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