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Flying Furballs: Nine Lives by Donovan Bixley

It's the final countdown to blast off; can cats and dogs work together to stop Alf Alpha and his army rising from the ashes of defeat? Will the traitorous Major Tom finally get his comeuppance?

Author Donovan Bixley wraps up the Flying Furballs series with this ninth book.

Riffing off the classic cats versus dog storyline, Bixley packs the story full of action from the very first page.

Rather than a cliff-hanger ending, Bixley drops the reader right into the action with a cliff-hanger starter.

The book can be read as a standalone, with Bixley giving readers a helpful rundown of the characters at the start and an entire story contained within the one book. However, reading the entire series is probably preferable to see how the different threads weave together.

The fully illustrated chapter book is accessible and easy to read, making it a great book to help independent readers gain confidence moving from picture books to longer novels.

Bixley is an accomplished artist who already has plenty of experience illustrating children's books. Once again he fills these pages full of fantastic detail to help build a strong picture in younger reader's minds.

Each character is full of style and swag, and although there's quite a hefty cast of characters, each one is unique.

With the occasional full comic hidden within the covers, the book showcases Bixley's illustrations and creative writing flair.

The ending has been left a little open, with Bixley not ruling out revisiting the series.

An action-packed adventure full of humour, Nine Lives is a fantastic finale to a superb series.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Upstart Press, RRP $14.99