Apocalypse Taco

illus. by Nathan Hale. 128p. Abrams/Amulet. Mar. 2019. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781419733734.
Gr 3–7—On a late-night food run for their mother's high school theater group, middle schoolers Axl and Ivan, accompanied by high schooler Sid, grab Mexican fast food from a disturbing drive-through and find that they're in a new dimension. Mysterious creatures have created copies of everything, but with a bizarre twist. Tacos with tentacles and goopy, sentient buildings and cars are out to get our heroes, who must use all their cunning (and a windshield scraper) to save the world and avoid being copied themselves. The characters are expressive, with the same mix of slapstick and swagger found in Hale's other popular graphic novels. The monsters are unsettling—exaggerated and drawn with a fluid, boneless grace that maximizes the creep factor and wonderfully evokes peril. Creatively positioned and sized panels move the action along at breakneck speed. Rendered in grayscale with burnt orange accents, the illustrations are inventive and intricate. The lack of a clear ending will frustrate some but leave most readers clamoring for more.
VERDICT Hale has done it again—another graphic novel that offers a terrific blend of the eerie and the humorous that will captivate new readers and delight dedicated fans.

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