Fourteen-year-old Toby gets his first summer job at "Killer Pizza" where all menu items go with the theme--for example, "Mummy Wraps," "The Monstrosity," and "Creature Double Feature." While he tells everyone he just wants to earn some extra cash, he really wants to become a famous chef and enjoys the chance to cook everyday. Then he finds out that "Killer Pizza" is just a cover for a secret organization that fights monsters and other creatures of the night. Now he must decide whether or not he wants to be a M.C.O. (Monster Combat Officer).
This book is full of adventure and somewhat campy monster craziness. I mean, what 14-year-old boy doesn't want to be an MCO? Heck, I want to be an MCO! And the end papers are great; it looks like the inside of a greasy pizza box.
I really liked the characters, although again as in many YA novels, the parents and other adults are barely there. Even the bad guys aren't very flushed out. But in this case, that kind of makes sense. It goes well with the B-movie, monster thriller vibe. Hey, and at least it's not vampires!
This is definitely a book that you want to talk up to your tween and younger teen boys. Not that some girls won't love it, too, but the boys are definitely the target audience. If they love R. L. Stine, Darren Shan, and all things monster, they will love this one.
Oh, and it's on the Lone Star List, too.
Reviewed from Library copy.