Aaron Blabey, Dawn of the Underlord (The Bad Guys #11), Scholastic Australia, May 2020, 192 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760668662
This is the first of the Bad Guys series I have read, and I think it will be the last. I can understand why it is been so popular, with its zany characters who are now out to party to celebrate their success: Mr Snake, Fox in a girl, Wolfie, and the others. For me, though, it was hard to read because so much of the text is written in upper case, often hand-written, with multiple lines forming the letters. I understand that everyone was shouting above all the noise, but this is likely to challenge many readers. I think the same effect could be achieved by increasing the size of the font but leaving it lower case.
Blabey certainly understands how to maintain his readers’ attention as the cartoon format changes from page to page. The book is monochrome, but there is a wide range of shade depth across the black and grey of each page. Blabey has set scene for the next few episodes as enthusiastic readers discover what the underlord is going to bring and destroy. I am sorry but I won’t be one of those following the story.
Reviewed by Maureen Mann