Marvel Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin' by Tom Angleberger

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Marvel Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin' by Tom Angleberger

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A sophomore entry to this series, which makes our comic book heroes even more cartoonish, and probably gives most adults conniptions.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Egmont
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781405285476

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Last time our favourite space-gun toting small, furry woodland creature and his humanoid yet woody friend Groot, escaped a planet-sized shopping mall of death, complete with their new companion in the form of a tape dispenser, and an old friend (for I'm sure Rocket would think of any old space ship of his as a friend, much as I'm sure that if the reverse were technically possible, the ship would never do the same back). But when they run out of fuel, as we were led to expect, there is only one option, and that is to land on the nightmarish world – nightmarish to Rocket, at least – of HappyHappyFunFun. But what's this? The whole world's inhabitants are now stuck hiding in caves for fear of the dangers of the road, as every vehicle is seemingly on a collision course with them, in a planet-wide instance of road rage. Surely even Rocket, who laughs in the face of danger, and Groot, who says I am Groot in the face of danger, cannot hope to help?

Last time we were having fun with both the characters that we were expected to already know and love, and with yet one more example of their hyper-kinetic, very destructive (in a PG way) existence. Here we're doing all of that, and more – the page count is higher, the use of dodgy music is greater, and we're riffing off lots of other stories, as this one turns into a parody of lots of known films at times, from the Fast and Furious series to Jaws with one particular joke.

Last time, again, we were presented with a book that would be anathema do a died-in-the-wool parent or school librarian, who would not take to the exuberance and busyness of all the pages. That comes from the entire book being either dialogue from Rocket, or Veronica the tape dispenser, or from Groot's limited vocabulary, and description of sound effects as recorded by Veronica. And that's it – not a sniff of a he said, not a single intrusion from a narrator, and not a whiff of exposition. While this means the pages rattle past, it also means you end up with a mess of a book visually at times, and while not a lot happens per page you do get a dazzling effect. And that's only made worse by Rocket discovering he can interrupt his Captain's Logs with full-colour illustrations, as opposed to the plainer pictures of before.

I don't actually mind the fact we can end up with script seemingly in twenty different colours on a spread, and very poor cartoonish drawings littering the page – even if the number of fonts used for the different characters and guest-stars keeps growing and growing. I don't actually have anything to mind, here, but again I'm not quite seeing something worth a hugely impressive star rating. Yes, there appears to be more to this book through being longer, but again it's a little on the slight side, is over pretty quickly, however entertainingly, and doesn't present a particularly loveable Rocket, or Groot, or even Veronica. I think you do need the narrator to show you what is what, and not just the conceit of the presentation here, to carry the story directly to the reader, and that Jaws quip would have worked better that way, too. Still, for the young reader who knows and likes these characters, however they have met with them before, and who also can handle the at-times intrusively different narrative approach, these books will contain some decent amount of pleasure.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Star Wars: Rogue One: Junior Novel by Matt Forbeck is for those of you keeping up with other franchises, in a straighter novel form.

Buy Marvel Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin' by Tom Angleberger at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marvel Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin' by Tom Angleberger at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Marvel Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin' by Tom Angleberger at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marvel Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin' by Tom Angleberger at Amazon.com.


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