Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat Volume 1 had two things going for it when I picked it up: First, it was a short novel and second, it was something I normally did not read fitting the criteria of this year (read novels and things not normally read). Klawde is a new series (volume two and volume three are also out; volume four due in May 2020) by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth. It is humorous, a little raunchy at times and is a slightly different take on a classic growing up story.
Klawde is an alien war-lord cat from the planet Lyttyrboks. His real name is Wyss-Kuzz and he is plotting revenge after his subjects overthrew this overlord and banished him to Earth. The stereotypical puns are throughout the story. Most science fiction evil genius’s story is here. Every super-smart animal story is here. After trying to find shelter from a downpour, Wyss-Kuzz finds what looks like dwellings, sees a button and pushes….. the doorbell. When the door opens, he comes face to face with an ogre. Now, to understand this part, you need to know that Earth is the ancestral penal planet where no cat returned from as they were eaten by giant ogres (which is explained at the sentencing of Klawde in the prologue).
The, ogres, or humans, are introduced with Raj Banerjee and his family. His family has moved him to another planet as well: Elba, Oregon. In Brooklyn Raj had friends, pizza parlors and comic book shops. In Oregon he has nature. And more nature. Did he mention, nature? (By looking at the illustrations of Rob Mommaerts, you see his neighborhood is less than the backwoods. That comes later). When the two misfits meet, the fur flies, Wyss-Kuzz is renamed Klawde (for obvious reasons, the K is for cool factor) and the fun starts. Even if part of that “fun” is Raj having to go to Survival Camp. I mean, Day Camp. But it truly is a nightmare.
The only part of the story I was not a hundred percent behind is that at the camp, it truly has some scary moments. It is not “horrific” but does not lend itself to a modern “everyone gets along and is friends at camp” mentality. It is reality. There are bullies doing what bullies do, the counselor is a couple baskets short of a picnic and there are a few holes in the storyline that made me back up to read again. Over all, this story, told in alternating chapters between Klawde and Raj (designated by a more “sci-fi” look to the text for Klawde’s part) is just a funny story about moving to an alien world, making friends with the natives (or enslave them before they give you that lovely smelling “toy” again) and just making the best of it all.