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Killer Pizza (Killer Pizza Series #1)

Killer Pizza (Killer Pizza Series #1)

4.5 65
by Greg Taylor

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Pizza you'll die for!

Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of a


Pizza you'll die for!

Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of a team. But none of them are prepared for what's really going on at Killer Pizza: It's a front for a monster-hunting organization!

Learning to cook pizzas is one thing, but killing hideously terrifying monsters? That's a whole other story. Still, if Toby quits Killer Pizza, will monsters take over his town?

Greg Taylor's Killer Pizza is a humorous and fast-paced read that R.L. Stine calls "a hot slice of horror that I couldn't put down!"

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristina Cassidy
Screenwriter Taylor's first novel follows fourteen-year-old wannabe chef Toby Magill as he learns that there is more to working at Killer Pizza than just making the pies. Toby is bored during summer vacation, so he applies to work at a new pizza chain coming to his hometown of Hidden Hills, Ohio. Soon Toby is working side by side with his classmate, Annabel, and two guys he does not know, Strobe and Doug. After a few weeks working together, the team learns two shocking secrets: Doug is really the CEO of Killer Pizza and the pizza is a front for a monster hunting team. Toby and his new friends face many dangers, including a pack of ravenous monsters called guttata, as they train to become Monster Combat Officers. The idea that fourteen-year-olds would be hired to run a pizza delivery shop and then recruited to combat evil seems unlikely at best. Toby is even left alone at home while his family goes on vacation. At least Strobe is old enough to drive. The story is clearly geared to please tween boys, but the characters act a few years older and would have been more convincing if they were sixteen or seventeen. The story itself is tightly plotted, full of suspense, and the monsters are suitably scary. The inevitable battle between the monster hunters and the guttata is satisfying and surprising. Reviewer: Kristina Cassidy
Publishers Weekly

In screenwriter Taylor's entertaining, if ephemeral, debut novel and B-movie takeoff, 14-year-old Toby Magill gets a summer job at the new Killer Pizza franchise in town (specialties include the "Fangtastic Hawaiian" and "Vampire Stakes"), where he hopes to hone his own cooking skills to fulfill his dream of becoming a famous chef. After a few enjoyable weeks, he and his fellow employees, the intelligent Annabel and the gruff Strobe, learn that Killer Pizza is a front for a secret organization that hunts monsters. The teens soon embark on a training course to become Monster Combat Officers, learning the ways of the strange creatures known as guttatas that are terrorizing their small town. Taylor keeps the action coming at a brisk pace, though there's never a real sense of true danger-even the teens mutated by the guttatas in the opening scenes are rescued. Older readers might question some plot holes (not to mention the idea of recruiting young kids to fight monsters), but most will find the book a fun diversion. Ages 10-14. (June)

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VOYA - Karen Jensen
Fourteen-year-old Toby dreams of being a chef and lands a job at his hometown's new pizza parlor during the summer. The job is fun and the staff is friendly, but Toby finds they have a secret: the pizza parlor is a front for a monster hunting organization reminiscent of The Ghostbusters. Toby soon finds himself bonding with his new friends and co-workers Strobe and Annabel. They experience a summer of danger as they try and save their Ohio town from being overrun by monsters after going through the training necessary to become Monster Combat Officers. Readers will be reminded of R. L. Stine, who contributes a cover blurb, and Paul Zindel's The Reef of Death (HarperCollins, 1998/VOYA April 1998) and The Loch (HarperCollins, 1995/VOYA April 1995). Toby is an easy-going and relatable young adult, and young teens will enjoy the fun, slightly scary read. Parts of the story are annoying to those who have trouble suspending reality (can fourteen-year-olds even work at a pizza place?), but this much-needed book definitely fills a gap in horror stories for young readers left by the end of the Goosebumps series. A recipe for Fiery Dragon-Breath Pizza is included. Reviewer: Karen Jensen
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Taylor delivers some fun, frightful fare in this high-concept debut novel. Fourteen-year-old Toby Magill, a closeted Food Network junkie, gets a summer job flipping dough at Killer Pizza. Hoping to learn some cooking skills, Toby is optimistic about his new position, and he instantly bonds with his two coworkers. However, the teens soon discover that the establishment is actually a front for a secret monster-hunting organization, and they are the newest recruits. Their focus shifts from making pizza to weapons training and stakeouts as they try to uncover the leader of a pack of grotesque monsters that can transform into human shape and are preying on innocent people. Clearly, this is not the job for which Toby applied. Always the underdog, he has to muster up the courage to take on these frightening creatures. The descriptions are creepy, but never over-the-edge gory. The author's screenwriting background is evident in the plotting of the nonstop action sequences that lead up to the satisfying conclusion. A delectable choice for horror fans as well as reluctant readers.—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Thinking he will have an opportunity to further his culinary skills, 14-year-old Toby McGill accepts a job at a local pizza shop. He soon discovers that the store is a front for an elite monster-fighting force and that he is the newest recruit. When people mysteriously disappear around town, Toby and his colleagues use their delivery disguises to hunt down the creatures responsible. Moving quickly into the half-baked premise, Taylor tops action scene with action scene, skimping on character development and relationship building. Frantic pacing forces readers to move forward, but more from weariness at the current scene rather than eagerness for the next. Nothing is left to the imagination; the elaborate descriptions of the "guttata monster" diminish its creepiness, and the teen behaviors are so wooden that the controlling hand of the writer is visible throughout the text. Lacking the gore and excitement of Darren Shan, Taylor's soggy first novel is an unsatisfying mouthful. (Horror. 10-14)
From the Publisher

“Taylor keeps the action coming at a brisk pace…a fun diversion.” —Publishers Weekly

“A delectable choice for horror fans as well as reluctant readers.” —School Library Journal

“A monster is roaming the nights in Hidden Hills, Ohio. But why worry about monsters when you can sink your teeth into a Killer Pizza? Greg Taylor serves up a hot slice of horror that I couldn't put down!” —R. L. Stine

“This much-needed book definitely fills a gap in horror stories for young readers left by the end of the Goosebumps series.” —VOYA

Product Details

Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
Killer Pizza Series , #1
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 5.86(h) x 1.18(d)
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt


Toby Magill had just sat down at his desk to boot up his computer when he heard his cell phone ring. Tossing aside the graphic novels and clothes strewn across his bedroom floor, Toby found the phone in a pair of cargo shorts and snapped it open.


"I’d like to speak to Toby Magill, please."

"I’m Toby."

"This is Steve Rogers, from Killer Pizza."

"Oh, yeah. Hi."

"I have good news, Toby. We’d like you to wear Killer Pizza’s distinctive black T-shirt with the red logo known around the world."

"You would?"

"Congratulations. The job is yours to lose. Come in tomorrow morning at eleven. By the end of the day you’ll know how to make the best pizzas in the universe."

Steve Rogers hung up before Toby had a chance to say thank you. Staring at the phone, Toby wondered if he really heard what he thought he had just heard. After peppering at least a dozen local businesses with work applications over the past few weeks—and getting turned down by all of them—had this man actually offered him a job?

If so, Toby wanted to do more than just say thank you to Steve Rogers. He wanted to kiss the guy’s foot! He felt like letting out a whoop of joy! But Toby—by nature a shy, introverted kind of kid—bypassed the whoop of joy and simply smiled at this wonderful news.

So long, summertime blues!

Only two weeks had ticked by since school let out, but Toby was already dealing with a mean case of the SBs. Sure, he had his graphic novels, computer, video games, and chores he was always forgetting to do. But step outside of his home and there was nothing to do in his Ohio suburban community of Hidden Hills. Nothing for Toby, anyway. His only real friend had left for California to spend the summer with his dad and stepmother. That had left Toby hangin’ out in the wind. Alone.

But this was great! Toby was confident that Killer Pizza would kick-start what had so far been an incredibly dull summer.

"Guess what? I got a job," Toby announced at dinner that evening.

Toby’s mother frowned, obviously not overjoyed at the prospect of her son finding employment. His sister, Stacey, looked like she didn’t believe him. As for Mr. Magill, Toby’s news of summer employment brought a smile to his face. "That’s great, Toby. Where?"

"Killer Pizza. It’s right down on Industrial Avenue."

"Weird spot for a pizza place," Stacey said.

Toby felt like giving his bratty twelve-year-old sister a swift kick under the table. To say the two had a combative relationship would be putting it mildly.

It didn’t help that Stacey was so good at everything, from academics to learning the flute to being so naturally at ease with people.

By contrast, nothing had ever come easily to Toby. He struggled to keep a B average, had not been able to master any of the instruments he had tackled so far—including his battered secondhand guitar—and had always found it difficult to make friends, thanks to that shy streak of his.

Those weren’t the only differences between brother and sister. Physically they were worlds apart, as well, Stacey being a small, petite kid—she took after her mom in that regard—compared to Toby, who was big for his age and close enough to being overweight that his mother was constantly reminding him to watch those sweets.

"Well, that’s where it is," Toby told his sister, referring to the location of Killer Pizza. "Go look for yourself if you don’t believe me."

"I still think you’re too young to be working," Mrs. Magill said. Toby had turned fourteen just a few months before, which meant he had been able to apply for a work permit. "Especially at a place called Killer Pizza. What kind of name is that?" Mrs. Magill’s expression looked like she had just eaten something very distasteful.

"It’s ‘Pizza to Die For.’ If I’m lucky, no one will die from any of the pizzas I make."

"Toby! That’s a terrible thing to say!"

"Just a little joke, Mom. Anyway . . ." Toby gave his dad a smile as he got up from the table. "I start tomorrow morning." After placing his plate, silverware, and glass into the dishwasher, Toby walked from the room.

"Tell you one thing," Stacey yelled after her brother. "I’m not ordering a pizza from you, that’s for sure!"

Stacey was actually right about Killer Pizza’s address. It was an odd spot for a pizza place. Industrial Avenue wasn’t an avenue at all. It was a dead-end side road lined with old, somewhat decaying industrial buildings that housed a hodgepodge of businesses, from Washabaugh Auto Body to a dog obedience school to Harr’s Boat Covers.

Toby was nervous as he rode his bike past Harr’s the following morning. "The job is yours to lose." That’s what Steve Rogers had told him. When he got to the Killer Pizza shop—located in a crumbling, 1950s-era brick building that sported a certain kind of funky charm—he hesitated before entering, took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly.

Toby didn’t want this job just to ward off the summertime blues. Fact was, he harbored a secret passion he hadn’t revealed to anyone. Not to his family. Not to his best friend.

He religiously watched the Food Channel.

Yes, Toby thought it might be kind of cool to be a chef. And why not? Celebrity chefs were in, after all. They were stars. What they mostly weren’t—from what Toby had seen on TV, anyway—were muscled, perfect-looking, athletic types, the kind who always brushed past him disdainfully in the hallways at school.

That gave Toby the license to dream about being a chef in a way that he could never dream about being one of the Popular Kids at school. Problem was, dreaming was all Toby had done, as far as being a chef was concerned. Cooking was still a secret ambition of his, which meant he had zilch experience in the kitchen.

So that’s why Toby was so nervous as he stood on the sidewalk in front of Killer Pizza. This wasn’t dreaming anymore, it was real life, a pretty scary thing for someone who was not exactly overloaded with self-confidence. After squelching a sudden impulse to turn and run, Toby squared his shoulders and nodded. Ready or not, it was time. Time to meet his destiny!

Or at least try to learn how to make a decent pizza pie.

When Toby pushed through the front door of the pizza shop, he was greeted by the sight of four people standing in the small area in front of the ordering counter. He tried not to stare at the beautiful girl with the ink-black hair.

This can’t be right, Toby thought. That’s Annabel Oshiro. What’s she doing here?

And yet it was Annabel Oshiro. A bona fide member of the Cool Kids Clique at Toby’s school, Annabel was also a Rich Kid, her family being one of the wealthiest in the community. Impressive social credentials, to be sure, but the really impressive thing about Annabel—as far as Toby was concerned—was how down-to-earth she was. With her outgoing personality and winning smile, Annabel managed the rare feat of actually being nice to everyone, no matter where they were on the social scale.

Thrilled as Toby was at the prospect of working with Annabel, he couldn’t help but wonder . . . why she was here, at Killer Pizza, standing in front of the large, colorful poster that advertised the various KP pizza choices. Certainly she had better, more exciting things to do than slave away in the hot kitchen of a take-out pizza chain all summer long.

"Mr. Magill?" Steve Rogers, with his crew cut, glasses, and pressed T-shirt, was the classic small-shop manager type. His eyes, magnified behind his glasses, were


Meet the Author

Greg Taylor is the author of the young adult novels The Girl Who Became a Beatle and Killer Pizza: The Slice. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Penn State University and started out his career as a professional drummer, before moving to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter. His screenwriting credits include Jumanji, Harriet the Spy, Prancer, and The Christmas Box.

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Killer Pizza 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
CJean55 More than 1 year ago
Very good! I bought this for my 12 year old grand daughter but I started reading it first and only put it down under duress. The characters are so normal, you feel like you know them personally. A great self discovery and coming of age story, the book was humorous but did not sacrifice excitement to make a joke. I passed it on to my 87 year old mother, an avid reader and am anxious to know what she thought of it. Great job!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing it is one of the best books i have ever read
orangecrush More than 1 year ago
Killer Pizza This book was very action packed! It wasn't predictable at all,and it absolutely had everything in a horror book that I wouldn't expect! The characters went great with the plot. Toby should have been more brave than he was though, because he was the main character. I can't even describe how much I adored everything about this book! I couldn't put it down. I even had a nightmare about having to kill the Alpha Guttata alone!! Annabel and Strobe were amazing characters,and very well thought out. Harvey and Steve were great crime fighting partners.There were some characters though, that I feel were just random. A lot of them weren't even described well,like the blue eyed women. What was her purpose? I don't even think I caught what her name was. The Alpha Guttata was a very scary,shady character, which I liked. The plot line and the speed of the events were good! The next thing that happened was just so unexpected which was a great attention grabber!The last part with the Alpha Guttata was pretty self-explanatory though.I would have liked it better if Toby,Strobe,and Isabel went to go watch the fight and accidently got pulled into it. The Killer Pizza headquarters were amazing!They were so undercover and secretive.I couldn't imagine the basement though.The way that the training room was described wasnt easy enough for me to understand,which was dissapointing.The dead hanging Guttata was a really creepy addition for the type of setting.It was funny how Strobe named it,and when he hit it Toby got creeped out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recomend this book to anyone. Great use of action and makes you think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect amount of humor, action, and even a slice of romance. It is a great book overall and I recommend it to all ages, from middle schoolers to Young Adults...One of my favorites without a doubt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book because its super weird cool i havent really read it all so i dont know what the scary part is but i know killer pizza is a great book and if you dont like my post you can kiss it so i can diss it if you like my comment then good for you a least someone appriciates my critictivity i thank all of my fans i thank you my freinds i love you belive in your dream make pizzas keep reading its adveturous and art in the whole word believe in youtsellf and do what you do best thank you from true belivers not justin beiber related amd i dont sing bad its just cuz my voice gets soar specific markasia madison im talkin to u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great bok for project
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont be fooled by Killer Pizza having to do with pizza. It is actually a monster fighting agency. The begining is the best part of the book. You dont have to read the end. If you like people fighting monsters then this is the right book for you. If you are interested in pizza, not monsters, then dont read this book. The book starts off at the pizza shop then gets to the monster fighting part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't belive this im going to read the slice next its awesome!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The perfect combition of horror,reality,and a boy's dreams that come with a catch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
clippers1 More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect book i dont have it on my nook but it is a good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To me this book is the book of the year!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got it and cant stop reading it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all the adventure and the exitment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago