cover image Juice Squeezers

Juice Squeezers

David Lapham. Dark Horse, $13.99 ISBN 978-1-61655-438-5

Weeville, Calif., is afflicted with a plague of giant bugs, who live in caves around town, but the Juice Squeezers, a team of kids who, posing as a basket-weaving club to misdirect adults, go underground and slaughter the bugs before they do harm. The idea is that only kids are small enough to fit in the caves, though some caves look pretty spacious, and there are probably more efficient ways to combat overgrown insects. Lapham’s (Stray Bullets) story hits the right buttons for a preteen audience, filled with action, snarky banter, a bit of kid drama, and a likable, capable girl lead, but its allure doesn’t transcend the surface presentation. Like the 1980s children’s science fiction it apes, there’s rousing adventure held together by very little once the thrill of the first encounter has passed, and the set-up demands the reader not think too much about the logic behind it, giant bugs aside. While the world-building is weak, the story still motors along. (Aug.)