Alex and the Alpacas Save the World is an adventurous little middle-grade story that had me wanting to not sleep to see what happens next. It follows the story of Alex, a young girl from Melbourne who goes to Tasmania in the summer to help her mum care for her grandpa. However, Alex and her mum do not have the best relationship with Grandpa Jacob. But family is family, and they gotta take care of each other. It turns out Grandpa Jacob has a family secret — they descended from a great hero who stopped the world from destruction eons ago.
When the one behind the world’s destruction wakes up again, it is up to Alex to team up with some comical alpacas and the apple delivery boy next door.
As a frequent middle-grade reader, I am always enthralled by the importance of family or friendship in these stories. Alex is our chosen one, but she doesn’t want to be to the point that she tries to flee. It is a bit refreshing to see a chosen one not immodestly be okay with suddenly given the task to save the world. Alex is sassy and insecure, which made her such a great character (I am not a big fan of overly confident characters). All Alex wanted to do was save her mum — the world be damn— and reading through her journey of accomplishing just that (and growing as a character) made my heart so happy. Even though Alex is much younger than me, I could still related to her in every way. Some of the best characters that exist in literature are those that are relatable to a person no matter the age.
The story was fast-paced and full of action. Even though the book was less than 300 pages, Kathryn Lefroy built a fascinating world and lore by slowly weaving it into the story as we learn with Alex instead of giving us a massive lore dump. I truly appreciated that.
While the story was enjoyable, I felt that all the side characters were just there, only useful when Alex needed help. Their personalities fell a bit flat and all the same at some point— only one of the alpacas is memorable, and it was because he complained about being hungry all the time. This lack of the characterization doesn’t hurt the story, but as a reader who loves and lives for good character arcs, I desperately wanted more.
Overall it was a good read, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read an adventurous middle-grade story. If you are looking to make you TBR less America-centred, this is a perfect read to add to your pile.
This book was provided to me by the author and Freemantle Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Freemantle Press
Publication Date: May 1st 2019
RRP: $16.99 AUD
Personal Rating: 5/5