Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Review: Last Pick: Rise Up by Jason Walz

Last Pick, Book 3
by Jason Walz
First Second
YA Science Fiction / Graphic
256 pages
ages 10 to 16

OCTOBER 6th!!!

Earth's last hope are also the last picked, in this thrilling conclusion of Jason Walz's dystopian graphic trilogy.

Wyatt is now the reluctant leader of the "last picked"—the disabled, the elderly, and those deemed too young to be useful for hard labor by their alien captors. But how can he and his ragtag allies take down an entire alien federation?

Meanwhile, Wyatt's twin sister Sam and her girlfriend Mia are creating chaos all over the galaxy in an attempt to rescue Sam's parents. But even if the family is reunited, can they stay alive long enough to see the end of the alien regime?



Note: This is the third book in the series and should be read as such. I did read this one without diving into the others first and was confused the first chapters. In other words, this book should not be read as a stand-alone.

Wyatt and his group of friends are determined to find a way to the hyperport but first need to get the map. Meanwhile, his twin sister, Sam, is out with her group in an attempt to rescue their parents from an alien prison. But even if the two of them fulfill their missions and meet up, they still need to find a way to stop the alien regime. That's not an easy task for anyone, let alone misfits like them.

I was looking forward to sinking myself into a science fiction graphic novel, and this one definitely had an interesting surmise. This book takes the most unexpected heroes and places them at the center of an action packed, space adventure. Not only are children, elderly, and anyone else deemed as 'incapable' now the last hope for humanity, but this book hits many other groups as well. The diversity of cultures is clear, but it doesn't even stop there. The alien friends are just as bullied as their human counterparts, and there's even some LBGTQ thrown into the mix, too.

The tale is a fun and quirky weave of action, tension, and humor. Each character holds their very own personality, and each one has an oddity or rough edge. Some are likable, while others are obviously evil. Still, the author tosses in a bit of snark and almost slap-stick like humor at times. It gives the entire story an unexpected twist, which guarantees to keep boredom away. But then, with the amount of danger and sticky situations these heroes run into, boredom isn't exactly something which pops in often, anyway.

The illustrations flow with a wonderful pace, keeping the plot interesting while still allowing needed character depth and enough emotion to keep the reader engaged. There were a few times when things seemed to slow down, but these moments picked up right away and lead to the next adventure.

There's a wonderful sense of family and friendship, which gives the tale heart. While this is sold as a novel for young adults, I can easily see older middle graders enjoying it quite a bit as well.

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