Gorilla Tactics (Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions #2) by Sheila Grau
Illustrations by Joe Sutphin
Release Date: March 1st 2016 by Amulet Books
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via a Giveaway hosted by Aeicha at http://wordspelunking.blogspot.com as a part of March Middle Grade Madness).
Runt is back in another installment of Dr. Crichlore's School for Minions. Runt's sixteenth birthday is quickly approaching, so he is desperate to find out who put this curse on him and convince them to break it. If he can't get answers soon, he will end up dying on his birthday. When hints surface that the Great Library might have answers for him, Runt once again enlists the help of his friends, Skye and Frankie to locate the spies (librarians) who have been tasked with protecting its wealth of knowledge and location. But, Runt is not the only one who is seeking the Great Library, and what is going on with Dr. Critchlore hosting a fashion show to try and save the school?
I'm always initially drawn to Dr. Crichlores's School for Minions by the cover and illustrations by Joe Suphin, and I just love the detailed map at the beginning too. Quite eye catching and engaging. It really draws you into these characters. And my are there some characters, all with very unique personalities. I'm kinda partial to Uncle Ludwig, who seems to know much more than he is letting on (he's in the bottom right of the cover). It's hard to not like the trio of Skye, Frankie and Runt though too. Runt has always had a rocky time at the School for Minions. After the first book, he found out that his friend Skye was keeping an important secret from him and getting into the Junior Henchmen program has been more challenging than he expected. Runt has taken to making to-do lists to help stay focused on his tasks, but still faces the same problem most of us face when starting these lists, eventually you have to revise and add things to them almost constantly. Skye has been trying to make amends with Runt for keeping the secret from him that he isn't a werewolf, which left him feeling pretty hurt and humiliated for much of the first part of the book. It isn't until Runt is put into a similar situation where he has information about Skye's past that might be hurtful to her, that he see's why she kept things to herself for so long. It isn't easy to tell your friend the truth all the time. I liked that Runt finally realizes just how unfair he has been, but felt bad for him being in the same situation. I expect we'll learn much more about Skye's past in the next book. Gorilla Tactics seemed to move along at a much faster pace then the first story, with more action and some nice twists in the plot. Lots of plots, with the school takeover, the fashion show to try and save it, who cursed Runt and why? and Skye's past. Plus there was a new mystery for Runt to solve about his own past sending him and his friends off to follow the clues. Yet, everything tied together nicely, and despite a few unanswered questions at the end, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.