Sequels are interesting. Sometimes they are better than the first book, and sometimes not even close. And when you get to book five in a series, sometimes you are more excited than you could imagine and other times you are thinking it is time to stop helping my uncle the logger keep his job and save a tree or two.
Hilo Volume Five: Then Everything Went Wrong by Judd Winick is a mix of the above. This volume is a “middle of the story” story. This is where more background about our hero Hilo and his friends is given and you are on the way to the top of the climax, but not there yet. We see how the friends can fight some new villains, get new friends, and must deal with Earth’s Government. There are also surprises and typical “boy” humor (though one of the girls is doing the armpit farting…). And even though this book is not the best in the series, there is enough that makes me want to know WHAT THE SAM HOUSTON IS GOING ON! So off to books six, seven, and eight.
And when book two makes you growl because it ends on a cliffhanger? Well, it was made right knowing that book three will be here in a few days after finishing. And therefore, you will not forget who was who this time. And this book two was not bad or good. Do You Remember the Summer Before? (Black Sand Beach, #2) by Richard Fairgray is another in the middle of the story novel. It is best to read book one of course, as book two is the build up to what happened in book one (Yes, you read that right). It is telling the past, what the darkness and monsters of book one (set a few days before) is all about and maybe just maybe a few answers. Oh, yeah, some mayo and a monster come into play, too. Dash finds the journal he wrote last summer, and in snippets of pages (as it was stolen and eaten partly by a non-so-cuddly sheep) learns what happened to him and hopefully why he does not remember doing anything he is reading about. And while some questions get answers, others are created. This fantasy-science fiction-mystery-little horror series is not for everyone. The images are goofy, the characters a little bit original “Addams Family” (with more color and less decapitated dolls), and honestly, sometimes the images a little disturbing (ghost girls without eyes, the monsters eating habits, an evil green zombie sheep). I enjoyed the first book, but wish I had book three to read right after two. Therefore, I do recommend getting all three and read back-to-back. (I’m not sure if 3 is also a cliffhanger but let me know!)
If you haven’t guessed, I liked Black Sand Beach better than Hilo book five. Not to say I didn’t like Hilo, but I really do want to finish this series. I think it is time to wrap it up. And depending on what happens in book three of Black Sand Beach, I am hoping for book three as the final book in that series.