Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Killer Pizza

Killer Pizza

Greg Taylor
For ages 12 and up
Feiwel & Friends, 2009   ISBN: 978-0312373795

Toby is a rather shy and reserved teenager, and he is the last person you would expect to do something that would require a leap into the unknown, but that is exactly what he does at the beginning of summer. Toby applies for and gets a job at a new pizza place in town. This is his first job and he is nervous, but he is also excited.

   The first week working alongside Annabel, Strobe and Doug (the other new employees at Killer Pizza) is hard on everyone, but with Annabel keeping them organized, they get the hang of it and figure out their strength and weaknesses. Without a doubt Toby is the best pizza maker, which makes him feel very good about himself. He even dares to imagine that he might perhaps be able to become one of those TV chefs one day. Doug is the only one of the four young people who does not pull his weight. In fact, Doug is a nuisance more than anything else.

   One day Steve, the man who hires the teens, calls a meeting and they find out that Doug is not Doug, he is Harvey. He is also an adult and he is the boss, the real boss. He has been watching the young employees to see how they perform and work together. Now that he has revealed who he really is he explains that Killer Pizza is a front for another organization that hunts, and eliminates monsters.

   Not surprisingly, Toby, Annabel, and Strobe think that Harvey is quite mad. Then Harvey takes them to a secret room in the basement and they see their very first monster, a guttata. Harvey killed it just a few days ago and he knows that there are more of them around. He invites the three teens to come and work for him as Monster Combat Officers (MCO). They will have to undergo training and complete a written test before they are eligible to become fully fledged MCOs.

   At first Toby is not sure that he wants to have anything to do with Killer Pizza’s secret activities, but in the end he agrees to join Annabel and Strobe. The training is brutal, but going after the monsters is infinitely worse. Much much worse.

   This unusual book will delight readers who like stories about creatures that come out in the night, creatures that prey on humans and that can transform so that no one knows that they are there. With plenty of action and unexpected surprises, readers will be engaged and entertained all the way through the book. It is interesting to see how Toby changes as he gets deeper and deeper into the world of a monster hunter.