marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

Zita the Spacegirl

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

A cheerful, youthful space opera in a graphic novel.  Which opens with a G. K. Chesterton quote.

Zita has stolen her friend Joseph's notebook and is running away from him -- when they stumble on a meteor in a crater.  Zita goes down and finds an alien artifact with a Big Red Button.  When she pushes it -- over Joseph's cautions -- nothing happens.  For a bit.  Then a warp opens, and Joseph is hauled through by these tentacles.  (Not octupus.  Like very large black pipe cleaners.)  Zita bolts.  After a bit, she comes back, pushes the button, leaps through, and into an enormous city, filled with aliens.  She sees Joseph being hauled off, but can't reach him in time.  Much chaos.  One alien, Strong-Strong, helps her -- then his boss berates him for wasting time.  She runs off, hides among pipes, is found by some maintenance types who think they have to fix the leak of salty water by giving her good news, and learns they will all die in an asteroid strike.  (The other does rebuke the one who said it, explaining it's bad news.)

When she helps a conman being beaten in the street, he puts her to sleep with them all -- playing on a pipe -- but brings her with him.

The rest of the tale involves a giant mouse who goes by Mouse because he doesn't like his name, a prototype mistakenly programmed with loyalty and honor, fixing legs in the scrap heap, a frightening elevator descent, mechanical spiders, and much more.

A fair chunk of the science in the story is so far out that it's clearly magic.  Lots of fun.  The tale rounds off nice even as it opens up to further adventures.

Tags: children's books, fiction reviews: sf, graphic novel/manga
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