Title: The Ripple Kingdom
Series: Cucumber Quest Vol. 2
 Gigi D.G.
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: First Second Books
Review Spoilers: Mild
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Cucmber, Almond, and their friends are back again in the latest volume of Cucumber Quest! Originally published as a webcomic (that’s still on-going today) the second volume sees the group continue their journey to defeat the Nightmare Knight. This time, though, they’re tackling monsters, crabs, and limbo aficionados in the Ripple Kingdom!

But they’re not necessarily doing it together.

Our “heroes” are divided for most of this book. Almond is captured by a giant octopus-esque monster along with Sir Carrot. While she’d like to think Cucumber is going to come their rescue Almond knows her brother a little too well to rely solely on him. So she and the others try to figure out a way to escape on their own. Meanwhile Cucumber teams up with the Ripple Kingdom’s princess, Nautilus, who is weirdly destined to help him (or something). She just can’t always remember what it is that she’s supposed to do exactly.

I love Princess Nautilus because she’s such a fun, quirky character (like basically all of them). She’s got a good sense of humor and she’s ready for adventure. While she’s certainly not quite as ready as Almond she’s probably a lot more ready than Cucumber and I think she’s going to be an excellent member of their little team. Because #TeamCuco is split up for the majority of the book she doesn’t get a whole lot of opportunities to play off the rest of the characters (though she meets up with Saturday!) so I’m really looking forward to seeing how she changes the group dynamics moving forward!

Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom actually does a lot to expand not just our cast of quirky characters but upon the series’ mythology as well. Princess Nautilus is one of seven princesses all of whom have a key role to play in Cucumber’s adventure. And the octopus monster, Splashmaster, it turns out is just one of seven ‘Disaster Masters’ that will plague the kingdoms of Dreamside. And, to make Cucumber’s quest even more difficult, he must defeat all of them before can take on the Nightmare Knight. 

After being uncertain about the humor in the first book I have to say it’s really grown on me. I loved the ridiculousness – especially when the characters themselves realized just how ridiculous things were getting. From King Kelp’s hilarious gashapon machine of useless spells to the somehow ubiquitous limbo fanatics that washed up in the kingdom, there are tons of great, hilarious moments. And Cucumber is there to point out just how crazy it all is while everyone else treats it all like it’s normal.

The artwork is on point once again and I loved the design for Splashmaster. He’s supposed to be this massive, deadly minion of the Nightmare Knight but really he’s just a goofy, giant octopus dude. He fits right into the world that Gigi D.G. has created with all it’s zaniness, bright colors, and kooky designs. One of the cool things about this book, too, is that like the other one it comes with a significant amount of bonuses at the end. There’s concept art, character cards, and jokes galore.

Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom is an awesome follow up to the first book in the collected series. The second volume is even better than the first if I’m being honest. The Ripple Kingdom does a lot to expand both the world building and mythology that creator Gigi D.G. has created. It introduces new characters and new complications for our heroes to tackle — and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

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