Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke, 208 pp, RL 4
I am a huge, huge fan of Ben Hatke's books and have been anxiously awaiting the follow up to Mighty Jack, a fantastic, amazing, action packed retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King is finally here and it is breathtakingly exciting.
With Mighty Jack, Hatke introduced us to our hero, Jack, his little sister Maddy, who is autistic, and their neighbor Lilly, with Lilly revealing that, not only is she a botanist and horticulturist, and a bit of a mixologist, she is a fierce fighter with an arsenal to show it. Armed with plant concoctions that will give them various abilities in battle as well as fencing gear, the two head off after the creature that has captured Maddy and fled through a portal to another world, with Lilly earning equal billing in this phenomenal second book in a trilogy.
Once there, things go bad quickly as Jack and Lilly are separated, fighting their own battles as they make their way up the rat infested beanstalk. There are goblins and giants, a misplaced muscle car and a princess dress and a diabolical machine that requires a human sacrifice every 500 years in order for the giants to maintain control of the beanstalk, which is also a nexus point, "a pocket in space and time. A place of connection between several worlds." Hatke fans and close readers might know what one of these "other worlds" is, and they will also go bonkers when they turn the final page of Mighty Jack and the Goblin King.
Source: Review Copy