Pip and Kitten and the End of the World by David Congreave
A Middle Grade Dystopia Novel published by David Congreave (09/15/21)
First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC
Pip has never even been to the grocery store himself but when every other person suddenly vanishes he’ll have to figure out which direction the supermarket is along with solving a host of other new problems. At least he isn’t completely alone. His pet cat, Kitten, and all the other animals have survived this potentially global apocalypse. Pip loves this new freedom to eat what he wants and read all day, but when the water stops running and the lights don’t turn on anymore, he’ll have to figure out how to survive in this new world.
Dystopia, Middle Grade, Alone, Reading, Scavenging, Learning, Cat, Survival, 8-year-old, Humorous
What I enjoyed above all else in this delightfully cheeky middle-grade novel was the tone. Though the subject matter could have been dark, foreboding, or scary the author approaches the story through a humorous lens. This humorous style was very similar to that of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I noticed some other delightful similarities between the two – very different – novels. Both are humorous and fun. They are both quick reads. Some of the dialogue will catch you off guard with its wittiness. Both feature the main hero and his unique sidekick. For Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the main characters are Arthur and the android Marvin. In Pip and Kitten and the End of the World, the only characters are Pip and his protective cat Kitten. The POV is written from a third-person point of view from that of a narrator. This ultimately makes these two books much funnier. The most obvious similarity between the two sci-fi novels is that the plot centers around the destruction of Earth and/or its inhabitants.
What makes Pip and Kitten and the End of the World unique is that the sole survivor of this global apocalypse is an 8-year-old boy (who has very little understanding of electricity or other everyday necessities/luxuries). Pip has never been to the grocery store himself – let alone built a fire or used a weapon. The stakes are huge for Pip even if he doesn’t realize them at first. If he gets hurt, there’s no one to drive him to the doctor. There is no doctor! Pip has to teach himself everything needed to survive. He even needs to learn what he needs to survive, which makes this such a great book. I would probably not be as helpless as Pip in this situation, but if the internet wasn’t available I’m not sure I’d be able to figure out electricity either. Pip is very relatable in that aspect. He is also caring and conscientious. He is the perfect underdog to rally around. Each time disaster strikes, I was anxious about Pip and whether he was going to make it!
The pacing was excellent in this book. The balance between action and moments of reflection and learning was great. I really appreciated the elevated language and think this characteristic makes the book appealing to all ages. For young readers, they can grow their vocabulary with the seamless use of more challenging vocabulary words. For older readers, the writing style was absorbing and paired with the humorous tone and third-person writing style, a fast and fun read.
This novel was published by David Congreave on 09/15/2021 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00
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