cover image Cats vs. Robots: This Is War

Cats vs. Robots: This Is War

Margaret Stohl and Lewis Peterson, illus. by Kay Peterson. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-266570-6

This madcap caper featuring an amusing crew of human, feline, and robotic characters launches the Cats vs. Robots series by the craftily matched Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) and Peterson (a game developer and robot builder). The premise is grounded in the feud between two intergalactic rivals: the disorganized Great Feline Empire, where naps are frequent and rules are followed “only if you felt like it,” and the goal-oriented Robot Federation, whose residents are “constantly trying (and failing) to invade and bring order to feline society.” When a microchip is created on Earth that can extend the lives of cats beyond nine and keep robots perpetually charged, the race is on to procure the device. Wryly named enemies Pounce de Leon and Sir Beeps-a-Lot are sent on missions to Earth, where allies of both empires are at work, including an elderly cat, Obi (“OB_1_Cat_noB” in robot-speak), and a bumbling assemblage of outdated computer prototypes residing in the home of the microchip’s inventors and their precocious kids. The authors sustain sharp comedic irony throughout, interjecting unanticipated plot twists and doses of emotion likely to engage readers. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)