Title: Martian Ghost Centaur
Author: Mat Heagerty, Steph Mided
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Full of humor, heart, and hilarious hijinks, Martian Ghost Centaur is a touching story about protecting the things you love and following your passion.
The town of Southborough used to be a major tourism destination, drawing folks from all over in the hopes they’d spot the famous Sasquatch, reportedly seen in the town many times over the years. But it’s been ages since anyone’s spotted the ‘squatch, and tourism is starting to dry up. To build their techie headquarters, a tech company called Start-up.com begins buying places all over town, driving out all the local townspeople. Luckily, Southborough is also home to Louie O’Connor, firm believer in the Sasquatch’s existence and all-around mega ‘squatch fan.
When Louie’s dads’ restaurant, Squatch Burger, starts to go under and fall prey to the techie start-up, Louie and her best friend Felix decide they’ll do whatever it takes to save the town from losing all the people and places that make it special. In hopes that convincing people the Sasquatch is real and to re-attract tourism, Louie and Felix plan an elaborate hoax in hopes of saving the town from the dot-com takeover. But when Felix starts talking about leaving their hometown for college in LA, Louie will have to face some tough questions about herself, her future career, and her place in her beloved hometown.
The town of Southborough is known for their Sasquatch sightings. Since the first sighting eighteen years ago, it has been a popular tourist destination. However, now people aren’t as eager to visit the famous town. Louie O’Connor is worried about her family and their restaurant. Many stores and houses in the town are being bought by a tech entrepreneur who wants to own the town. When the truth behind their Sasquatch is uncovered by an vlogger who Louie invited to the town, they have to find another way to draw tourists to the town. Louie and her best friend Felix form a plan to save their town.
This story shows how our perception of things has changed over time. It wasn’t very long ago that we didn’t have the internet and smartphones with us everywhere we went. Now, we know how easily photos or videos can be edited to show something that isn’t real. That becomes a problem for towns like Southborough in this story, which survived on the mystery around their Sasquatch. It wasn’t difficult to find the truth behind those sightings, which destroyed the tourism in the town.
There were some fun references to pop culture from the 90s and early 2000s. The first Sasquatch sighting was made by Louie’s dad while he was filming an audition tape for American Idol in 2003. Louie had a friend who made costumes, including many different costumes of Uncle Joey from Full House. Those were so funny and accurate. I love it when stories make references to things from my childhood, because it makes me feel more connected to the story.
This was a really fun story!
Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Unplugged and Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja, Mike Amante
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
Have you read Martian Ghost Centaur? What did you think of it?