Klawde and Raj are back! As summer turns to fall, our favorite warlord cat remains in his pitiful, exiled existence. But Raj has an even scarier prospect than cosmic exile: starting at a new school. And if things didn’t seem complicated enough, both cat and human are confronted with two figures from their past they did not expect to pop up in Elba, Oregon.
While Klawde trains three kittens to become warriors, Raj is trying to make new friends and win a robotics contest. The tense story atmosphere chronicles Klawde and Raj as they both seek revenge on an enemy. When Klawde feels depressed and hides out in his bunker, Raj cheers him up with Klawde’s own words: “Revenge is a dish best served as often as possible! Revenge is the best medicine!” Klawde is truly an evil alien warlord who believes “an excellent lie is better than an inconvenient truth.” Even though Raj realizes that revenge isn’t the best medicine, the story has some bullying and gives no advice on how to conquer the problem.
Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat #2 jumps back and forth between Klawde’s and Raj’s points of view. The story focuses on the drama of middle school, using humor and fun illustrations that are washed in blue. Klawde’s violent behavior is often outrageous and humorous, and he perfectly captures cats’ disdain for others. The conclusion shows Raj learning that revenge isn’t the right course of action because it hurts others.
Readers will enjoy the fast-paced story but may have difficulty with some of the advanced vocabulary, such as perfidious, malevolence, nefarious, and exponentially. However, readers will be able to use context clues to understand the meaning of the difficult words. Short chapters, large font, and pictures that are scattered throughout the story will keep even reluctant readers interested. Even though Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat #2 doesn’t have an anti-bullying message, the highly entertaining story will keep readers flipping the pages until the very end.
- Klawde teaches kittens to be warriors. As they train, the calico kitten “dispatched each of her brothers so quickly that, for the final match, I paired both girls against her. The fight was even, until on one the grays caught the calico with a strike to the head that sent her sliding across the floor. She crouched in a corner, meowing pitifully… The boys went to check on the state of their sister. Once they were near, the girl sprang forward with a leap so lightning-fast, they had no time to react. She landed on their backs, slashing and biting and yowling with glee.”
- The calico pretended to be heading towards a nap and then, “she turned, rose up behind her brothers on her hind legs, and crashed their skulls together.”
- Klawde finds his enemy, who was “finished slurping up the innards of whatever creature he had captured, and crunched its bones between his teeth.”
- Klawde and his sworn enemy fight. Klawde “cuffed him on his cheek as an answer to his insolence. Then I reached with my other paw to strike at his shoulder. I ducked his next swing, and at the same time used my right hind leg as a surprised cudgel, jackhammering him with a blurred series of blows.” The fight is described over two pages.
- Klawde is upset, so he attacks a human by “grabbing at his leg. His hideous bare skin now bore four perfectly parallel scratch lines.”
- After Klawde tampers with Raj’s robot, the robot goes crazy during an assembly, and “it shot the coffee out of Miss Natasha’s hand, and next it sprayed water at Principal Brownepoint, nailing him right in the crotch of his pants. It looked like he’d peed himself!”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Klawde gets high on catnip.
- On the human side, there is some name-calling, including jerk and dork.
- Klawde has many funny names that he calls both humans and cats alike. For example, he calls a cat an ignorant imbecile, a dim-witted dolt, and a moron.
- Heck is used twice.
- When Klawde challenges his enemy to a duel to the death, his enemy “looked like he’d just seen the ghost of King Si-uh-meez, whose spirit is known to appear to cats on their deathbed.”