Book Review: “Lionboy: The Chase” by Zizou Corder

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Lionboy: The Chase
by Zizou Corder

If you have read Lionboy, the first book in the aptly named “Lionboy Trilogy,” you already know that Charlie Ashanti lives in a post-combustion-engine future and speaks the language of cats. You know that his parents are scientists on the verge of discovering a cure for asthma, and that they have been kidnapped by a sinister corporation that plans to brainwash them into working for itself. You also know that Charlie is running from not only a would-be kidnapper, and the powerful people backing him, but also from a floating circus and the creepy lion trainer, whose six beautiful lions are also running away…with Charlie.

Together Charlie and the lions are trying to find Charlie’’s parents and the lions’’ home in the forests of Morocco. Their trail — —a false trail, as it happens— — leads them to Venice, under the protection of an endearingly silly Bulgarian king and his neither endearing nor silly intelligence expert, Edward. Edward has taken charge of Charlie and the lions, turning the king’’s Venetian Palazzo into a damp prison in the midst of a beautiful but sadly decaying city. Edward has some kind of plan which may make it even harder for Charlie and the lions to continue on their way. But he hasn’’t reckoned on Charlie and his friends, nor on the restless citizens of Venice, any more than the Corporacy has counted on the ability of a mangy cat named Sergei to single-pawedly liberate two of its most valued captives: Charlie’’s parents.

This middle installment of the trilogy keeps the tension ratcheted up. In the midst of major events (political upheaval, environmental disaster, etc.) Charlie and his lion friends seem at times to be hopelessly tiny figures, but in their loyalty and courage they turn out to be extraordinary heroes. Just wait until you get your paws on the final book in the trilogy, Lionboy: The Truth.