A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Book Review: Why Kimba Saved the World

Today on Mysterious Monday, we are pleased to bring you something that is not a mystery—exactly. Why Kimba Saved the World is instead a sci-fi/fantasy tale meant for middle-grade readers. This book by Meg Dendler is the first in the Cats in the Mirror series, and it is an award winner, earning a Moonbeam award for Best First Book—Chapter Book. When we received this book, we had the feeling that it would be really hard to go wrong, and we were right. Naturally.

Two Earth kittens encounter a cat in the mirror

So, the first thing you need to know is that cats are not just cats. Rather, not all cats are just cats. Some cats aren’t from Earth. They come here on a bigger mission than just chasing string and napping in sun puddles. Some cats aren’t on Earth at all. They’re… Well, I actually don’t know where they are. I just know that they use mirrors to communicate with Earth cats.

Kimba and Hiro are Earth kittens who have lost their mother but have been adopted by a nice Earth family. They could settle in and live a comfortable life, but they are supposed to be part of this bigger mission.

At least that’s what the mysterious gray cat in the mirror tells them. Regalus is his name, and he starts handing out assignments like he’s in charge or something. “Gather information on your humans,” he tells Kimba (Hiro—wisely, I think—declines to participate). “Go outside and gather intelligence,” he says. “Get your human’s Facebook login,” he instructs. “Use this information to prepare the invasion,” he orders.

Invasion?

This is where Kimba encounters a moral dilemma, a choice between freedom and family. Because if the invasion succeeds, what happens to the loving humans who have taken care of her since before she even opened her eyes?

An engaging story with heart—and history

We can only begin to tell you how much fun we had reading this book. Yes, it’s written for people who are…well, let’s just say decades younger than old SoLT, but a good book is a good book, no matter your age. We chuckled over the part where Kimba and Hiro first open their eyes and get a look at each other, we felt Kimba’s on-edgeness (yes, I know that’s not a word; deal with it) when one part of her mission did not go exactly as planned, and we worried with her over whether she should follow Regalus’s final order. There’s also a little history lesson that just made us tingle all over (you know how much we love the history).

In the very first sentence of this review, I wrote that Why Kimba Saved the World is not exactly a mystery, and it isn’t, but there are mysterious elements. Just who are these cats who are from “somewhere else”? What do they want, exactly? And where off Earth is “somewhere else,” anyway?

These questions remain unanswered, providing the perfect setup for the books to come. This book might prompt other questions. For example, old SoLT has already looked at the Real Cats and asked, “Are you from outer space?” They looked at her cryptically and did not reply. Makes you wonder.


A fun and engaging read. Highly recommended!


A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn't tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account.


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