Illustrations – George Ermos
Welcome to Brutalia, where the smell hits you before the locals do. I’m proud to say that my visits thus far have not resulted in ravens eating my eyes. I’ve also somehow managed to avoid being mauled or hugged to death by a Grot Bear.
So why would I want to brave the dangers of Crashbang Cove to return to a decidedly unwelcoming, rat infested island where the locals extend “fists of ferocity”?
Well, it might have something to do with a trio of locals whose ethos doesn’t quite line up with that of their fellow Brutalians.
“Fighting for what’s right without fighting is always a bit of a struggle,” Mort said. “But, if we surrender, the war on violence will be over.”
Mort, his best friend Weed and tone deaf Punky comprise three quarters of the Pacifist Society of Brutalia. When I tell you Mort and Weed are about to go to war, you’ll understand they’re not exactly thrilled about it.
In this book we meet the locals of Bonrock, who may seem friendly but are they really more interested in torture? We also encounter war toucans, watch poor Doris get demoted and are introduced to Brutalia’s new soup sayer!
I always look forward to the quips at the beginning of each chapter in this series. In the first book, these were made by a couple of chatty, eye hungry ravens. In the second book, we met lobsters Larry and Bruce. This time, we’re introduced to Ratto and Ratty.
Brutalia has long been a place where a misunderstood homonym can result in grievous bodily harm. When you read the author’s bio and discover they studied linguistics, it makes sense how much fun words get to have in this series. It’s easy to imagine the homonyms hanging out with the homophones and the synonyms playing hide and seek with the similes.
George Ermos’ cover image was what interrupted my scrolling long enough for me to read the blurb of the first book. The illustrations in this book add to the humour. The characters are expressive and there are plenty of fighty, ratty and soupy moments.
Come to Brutalia, where the locals “live like cockroaches and smell like a thousand demon farts”. You won’t be disappointed, although you may need a long, hot shower when you get home.
Favourite no context quote:
“I listen only to the soup.”
Readers with emetophobia may have trouble with some scenes.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Stripes Publishing, an imprint of Little Tiger Group, for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
When Brutalia’s ever suspicious Queen is forewarned of a new enemy – a nearby island called Bonrock – Mort is worried. As a pacifist, he’s a firm believer that strangers are just friends they haven’t met yet. Then he and his best friend and fellow pacifist Weed are sent to the island to investigate.
But Bonrock is a warm and welcoming place, with luscious landscapes and tropical waters. Mort’s relieved – there’s no need to fight! Until they stumble upon something terrifying… Perhaps there really is trouble in paradise?