Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade

Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal book cover
Image from Kelly Polark

Title: Cold Cereal (Cold Cereal #1)

Author: Adam Rex

Genre: Fantasy

New town, new school…rabbit-men asking for help?  When Scott Doe moves because of his mother’s job with the cereal manufacturer Goodco, he is expecting things to be a little different.  He isn’t expecting to see magical creatures and catch a leprechaun trying to steal his backpack.  After he frees the leprechaun from a police car, he learns some very interesting secrets.  Something sinister is going on at Goodco – something that involves Scott’s new friends Erno and Emily.  A breakfast cereal company with plans for world domination and the magic to do it…things are about to get very, very strange.

This is the kind of middle-grade book that I probably would have passed over based on its cover and title (yes, I know I shouldn’t, but I do judge books by their covers).  But it was a book club pick, so I got it from the library.  When I discovered it was written by Adam Rex, though, I began to look forward to it.

I read Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday years ago – a humorous, off-beat sci-fi that I absolutely loved.  So I expected Cold Cereal to be a little quirky, maybe downright strange, but definitely entertaining.

And that’s exactly what it was.

I had assumed Scott would be the main character, but I’m not sure he was.  Honestly, he was pretty bland.  He was essential to the plot, but he wasn’t a great character.  Not a lot of personality there.  I didn’t mind following him around, but only because I was interested in the plot.

Erno and Emily, on the other hand, I really enjoyed.  I knew a lot more about them than I did about Scott – in foster care, genius-smart (Emily, anyway), play interesting games with their foster dad….  Their personalities weren’t the fabulously unique, sit-up-and-take-notice kind, but they were distinct.  Erno was the big-brother protective kind, Emily was the analytical, occasionally emotional kind, and both were somewhat quiet and not popular.  And I enjoyed them much more than Scott.

The plot was unique in itself – a breakfast cereal company using magical creatures to take over the world.  But it was the little details – the pink dragon, the Arthurian legends, the housekeeper – that made it the funny, off-beat craziness I was expecting.  I’m not going to say too much, so I don’t ruin it for you, but suffice it to say that while the plot is actually pretty straightforward, there’s enough hilarity and craziness to keep me interested.

My only problem with Cold Cereal was with the ending.  I won’t go into too many details, to avoid spoilers, but it fell a little flat to me.  The mastermind bad guy doesn’t even hardly become a problem until the very end, and there were a few little details that didn’t exactly match up.  But other than that, I enjoyed the story.

I didn’t know this when I started the book, but Cold Cereal is actually the first in the series.  And I think I may end up reading the next book, Unlucky Charms.  Just because I like the quirkiness.

The Cold Cereal saga:

  1. Cold Cereal
  2. Unlucky Charms
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