Nico Bravo and the Hound of Hades

First Second. (Nico Bravo: Bk. 1). Apr. 2019. 192p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250196989; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781626727519.
Gr 3-6–Nico Bravo works at Vulcan’s Celestial Supply Shop, helping gods, demigods, and mythical creatures purchase magical items and weapons. Nico also rooms above the shop with his two coworkers: Lula, a sphinx, and Buck, a unicorn veteran from the mysterious Unicorn Wars. What begins as a normal workday soon turns into an adventure for Nico and his friends. Nico’s latest customer, a young novice adventurer, is actually Eowulf, a descendant of Beowulf. When she reveals that she wants to slay the infamous three-headed Cerberus, Nico knows that he must stop her. Eowolf wants to prove herself as a monster slayer, even if that means potentially letting all of the dead out of the Underworld if she is successful. While Nico is off preventing the end of the world, Buck finds himself back in the jungle in an alternate universe where the Unicorn Wars never ended, and Lula is left alone to run the crowded shop. Familiar characters such as Gilgamesh, Zeus, Hades, and Persephone join new mythical heroes and villains in this humorous adventure. The vivid colors are a perfect fit for this fun, fast-paced graphic novel.
VERDICT An engaging series opener recommended for most middle grade collections. Pair with Jorge Aguirre’s Giants Beware.

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