Apocalypse Taco is the newest edition to Nathan Hale’s publications. Apocalypse Taco is not part of his famous Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales line of books. Instead, it is about a group of private school students named Ivan, Axl and Sidney. Ivan and Axl’s mom is a drama teacher at the local high school, and the trio is busily working on the set of her play, Brigadoon, when they make the fateful decision to venture off early in the morning to get food for the cast. The result is the Taco Apocalypse.
Unfortunately, the funny idea of a taco apocalypse and the first ten pages of this book are the best parts. The rest (118 pages) is confusing, rushed, and disappointing. Hale requires almost half of the book to even explain how the taco apocalypse started, and his explanation (it involves bees) does not make sense. At certain particularly baffling plot points, I even began to wonder if this was a ghost written story and not really by Nathan Hale. This question seemed even more legitimate when I noticed, as the story progressed, that more and more pages lacked any text, but were just illustrations. Of course, illustrations are normal in a graphic novel, but in this case it felt like Hale was just trying to fill pages. The climax of Apocalypse Taco fails to provide a full answer for how Ivan, Axl and Sidney fare, and leaves the reader wondering if this book is meant to have a sequel. Which Nathan Hale fans should hope it does not.
I have read most of the books in the Hazardous Tales series, and enjoyed them all. I was very much looking forward to a new Hale work, but Apocalypse Taco fell very short of my expectations. It feels like Hale had a funny idea for a story, but did not consider how to get a full length book out of it.