Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack is a Mildly Entertaining Middle Grade Graphic Novel

Cleopatra is 15 years old and is being prepped to become the ruler of her nation. She is sassy, hates school and drugs her teacher to get some time away from the classroom. There are no parameters set for why the author chose to use the historical figure as his heroine. She just as easily could have been any other girl from any other culture at any other time period. There is no discussion of food, clothing or even ethics of Ancient Egypt, save for a brief mention of pyramids.

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Cleo and her friend enter a tomb. She presses some buttons and is transported to the future, where all of the teachers and dignitaries are cats. It turns out that they’ve been waiting for Cleopatra in this future, she will be their savior. Nothing is different in the future. There are space cars but the character doesn’t reflect on any of the differences, there isn’t even a moment of pause for her as she is now living in a society run by cats.

The illustrations are highly stylized; a morph of old Archie comics and contemporary Anime. The colors are rich and engaging but there isn’t enough to the story. The adventure quality of the story is fun and cute and has potential but there isn’t enough meat or developed personality in the characters to recommend this book.

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pub Date: April 29, 2014

ISBN: 9780545528429

Page Count: 176 pages

Publisher: Graphix (an imprint of Scholastic Inc.)

* I was given an Advanced Reader Copy of this title in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Scholastic Inc.

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