I’m starting my MMGM reviews in 2020 with something light, funny, and full of twists (the kind in stories—not the kind you’d see a boy band do on stage). This comes from British author Tom Nicoll who also wrote a series of chapter books about a dinosaur and a gaming series called Level Up!

Boy Band of the Apocalypse is narrated by 13-year-old Sam, and he has no interest in either the band or their music, but it’s hard to avoid the popular group. Almost every girl in his neighborhood and school is in love with each of the five members of the epic band, Apocolips.

A series of strange events lead Sam to tryout for a sudden vacancy in the band. Sam’s angst and awkwardness comes through in several humorous scenes. Here’s a sample after his friend, Milo, questions him about his dancing skills.

9781847158314.jpg“I haven’t done a lot,” I said.

What have you done?’

I thought about it. “There was my aunt’s wedding a few months back. I danced at that.”

Milo leaned forward eagerly. “Yeah? And how did it go?”

I looked down at my feet. “Well, we haven’t really spoken to my aunt since,” I said. “But I did hear that my cousin Lucy is due to get the casts off any week now.”


Although over 300 pages, the story is a quick read that can be enjoyed by a wide range of middle graders. It will appeal to both boys and girls along with those somewhat reluctant readers. Here’s the official synopsis:

Sam knows it will be bad when he’s stuck taking his sister to boy band Apocalips’ concert, but he doesn’t expect to overhear the band plotting to destroy the world! Even though he’s a disaster at singing and dancing, it’s up to Sam, with help from his best friend, Milo, to infiltrate the band and save the world from Armageddon.



  1. Besides a few world leaders who else but a boy band would even think to overtake the world? Sounds crazy, but the plot never suffers and provides even more surprises.
  2. Sam is the perfect foil for this adventure. He’s just a normal kid with boring parents and a younger sister who has some anger issues.
  3. When a character’s past shows them in a whole different light it provides many engaging moments. Here we have a half dozen characters who come across much differently than the way they started. Excellent story telling!
  4. Illustrations like those on the cover appear every few pages. They are a great connection to our visual generation of readers.
  5. Fame can make you see the world in a whole different light. You’ll have to see what I’m talking about by picking up your own copy of the book.


Tom Nicoll is an award-winning writer of funny books for children, including the There’s a Dragon in my… series and Boyband of the Apocalypse, which won the Stockton Children’s Book of the Year 2019. He is also an avid, though arguably not-very-good, gamer and has written a video-game based series for younger readers called Level Up!


David O’Connell is a writer and illustrator living in London, UK. He works mostly in children’s books, particularly humorous picture books and young fiction.

I received a copy of the book from Kane Miller/EDC Publishing for my honest critique. This Friday I will be reviewing the sequel, BOY BAND OF THE APOCALYPSE—WASHED UP.

Comments are welcome below. I read them all and will respond when time allows!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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  1. Denise says:

    What a fun, crazy idea for a story. The themes aren’t too heavy either. I’ll be looking for this one.

  2. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I agree with Denise. This sounds like a fun story about about a band and saving the world. I would have never thought of that.

  3. We all could use light and funny right now with so much going on in the world. Only teens would come up with a band that will save the world. Sounds very humorous! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This sounds like a fun read. I can’t believe there’s a sequel…

  5. This sounds like just the ticket for our times. I will be looking for this one. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Pingback: BOY BAND OF THE APOCALYPSE—WASHED UP | Always in the Middle…

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