‘Crater Lake – Evolution,’ by Jennifer Killick.

Well I’m not going to lie. I’m a card-carrying member of the Crater Lake fan club so I’d been counting down to its sequel ever since I learnt there was going to be one. I couldn’t wait to see what had happened to Lance and the gang after they survived the Crater Lake school trip and headed into Year 7.

‘It’s five months since the nightmare Year Six School trip to Crater Lake, and something has gone very wrong in Lance’s home town of Straybridge. There’s been an explosion at the University, a mysterious test creature is missing and no one is allowed in or out of the town. On top of this Lance has lost touch with his friends since starting at his new school. And now his mum has been acting strangely since they started decorating the Christmas tree… As he goes door to door trying to reunite his team, Lance realises how bad things have got. Now he, Katja, Max, Chets and Ade, plus new friend Karim, must think bigger and bolder if they are to save their families. But there’s something else out there too – something straight out of their nightmares…’

Well I wasn’t disappointed. It was brilliant to revisit the characters I’d been rooting for all through their first adventure. Seeing them transition to secondary school, with all the new difficulties that brings, was just as I’d hoped. The original readership of the first title may well have moved up into secondary school alongside the characters and will love to see them navigating the same trials and tribulations as themselves.

Killick’s dialogue remains carefully observed and razor-sharp. Any appropriately aged child I’ve shared these books with have found them hilarious and so true to life (except for the mutant wasp people part!) It’s also refreshing to see characters with various medical conditions represented in a matter of fact way, going a lot their everyday lives and saving the town!

Book Boy spent a day glued to Crater Lake Evolution and had the following to say: “It’s even better than the first one! There’s load more action packed in and it’s really funny!”

A must-read series for anyone aged 9+ who are looking for something creepy but funny.

Library Girl

*Many thanks to Firefly Press for sending me this title to review*

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