WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
4th Grade and Up
With his zombie-controlling powers growing stronger, Jack Sullivan and his buddies are road-tripping toward the mysterious Tower, where they must once and for all stop Rezzoch the Ancient, Destructor of Worlds, from descending upon our dimension. But their journey is sidetracked when they are swept up by the Mallusk, an enormous centipede monster carrying the world’s largest shopping mall on its back.
On board, the kids discover a thriving monster society: Mallusk City! There, they encounter old allies—as well as old foes, who are ruling over Mallusk City with an iron fist. Beating these bad guys in battle is not an option but beating them in an election is . . . so Jack runs for mayor of Mallusk City! At first, proving his leadership skills just means shaking monster hands, kissing monster babies, and promising to fill the water fountains with strawberry Nesquik. But when the Mallusk falls under attack, Jack must learn how to be a true leader—before it’s too late.
I suggest rereading the last three books in the series, including the graphic novel ‘Trilling Tales from the Tree House’ so you’re all caught up before reading this book. That way you’ll recognize all the old allies and already know that the old foes mentioned are Evie Snark and Ghazt, the Cosmic General.
This story has come a long way since the first book. It’s no longer four kids getting into crazy shenanigans while surviving the monster/zombie apocalypse. With each new book, the stakes get higher and the monster illustrations get more gruesome. Thankfully it still manages to be funny with Jack’s odd sense of humor.
In the last book, when the kids were road tripping, I was waiting for them to stumble across any other sign of civilization. Other than the monster Outpost, they didn’t run into any other groups. I got my wish with the Mallusk City, populated by creatures who are more interested in having fun than getting involved in the war against Rezzoch and Thrull. I’m hoping this means that the kids will be running into more survivors, ideally human survivors.
Being set in a mall, many store and food franchises are mentioned. Like Old Navy, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and my personal favorite Hot Topic. I laughed when that store’s name came up.
I was a bit unsure about Jack running for mayor. Politics and elections make me nervous and my knowledge on both is limited to what I’ve learned from the TV show Parks & Recreation. I feel like Max Brallier wrote this book during the 2020 election. From what I can tell, this is a pretty realistic representation of an election, which is also kind of sad.
Once again, the story ends with a cliffhanger that will continue into the next book. Speaking of which, the day before Book 7 was released, the title for the next book was revealed. Quint and Dirk will be getting their own buddy adventure in ‘The Last Kids on Earth: Quint and Dirk’s Hero Quest’, in stores April 12, 2022. I left a comment on Instagram saying, “The seventh book isn’t even in stores yet and the next book title is already being released?! JUST GIVE ME THE BOOK ALREADY!” My comment was liked by the author, Max Brallier, whose Instagram page is titled max_loves_pants for some reason.