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Crater Lake: Evolution

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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 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...


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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 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...

30 review for Crater Lake: Evolution

  1. 4 out of 5

    Belles Middle Grade Library

    Such an amazing sequel! This is definitely titled correctly with “Evolution” since this second book was even better possibly than the 1st! Can’t say much since it IS book 2, but I had such a great time back w/these characters. I was thoroughly creeped out, AND on the edge of my seat the whole time as well. I read the last 55% of this in 1 sitting-I literally couldn’t put it down. Such amazing characters & humor too. This author a master at comedic sci-fi w/a twist of horror. Love! There’s even s Such an amazing sequel! This is definitely titled correctly with “Evolution” since this second book was even better possibly than the 1st! Can’t say much since it IS book 2, but I had such a great time back w/these characters. I was thoroughly creeped out, AND on the edge of my seat the whole time as well. I read the last 55% of this in 1 sitting-I literally couldn’t put it down. Such amazing characters & humor too. This author a master at comedic sci-fi w/a twist of horror. Love! There’s even some relatable topics in here like a new character who has diabetes, body image, & the transition from middle school to high school, & the effects it can have on kids. This shows many different ways it can affect kids. This friend group is still the best though. And I loved the new friend brought into the group. His humor is on point! Lol Love love love! These kids can do anything together. This has action, danger, suspense, sci-fi goodness, creepy vibes, humor, friendship, amazing characters/writing/story, & more. Very fast-paced read, & I loved every minute. I can read books like this all year long. I don’t wait for spooky season lol I love it too much to limit it. I will never look at high fives or a certain Christmas decor item the same way again..just saying lol. HIGHLY recommend! I don’t know if there will be more, but I really really hope so!🤞🏻 Another AMAZING cover by Anne Glenn Design too!💜

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris Callaghan

    Lance and his friends are back in the middle of the creepiest of mysteries. Dealing with the craziness in their trademark smart and sassy style. Real thrills and chills with thumping action and dialogue. A worthy successor that is possibly even better than its stunning predecessor. Evolution, indeed!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mehsi

    The aliens are back, hoho merry Alienmas! It took me a bit to read this one + it didn’t help that Amazon took its sweet time to deliver it, but I finally had the chance to read it yesterday and BOY BOY BOY I flew through the book in record time. It was just so good to read this one. With tons of action, plenty of drama and alien scariness, and great characters once again. In this one it has been 6 months since everything happened. We follow Lance once again and he is having a pretty OK time with t The aliens are back, hoho merry Alienmas! It took me a bit to read this one + it didn’t help that Amazon took its sweet time to deliver it, but I finally had the chance to read it yesterday and BOY BOY BOY I flew through the book in record time. It was just so good to read this one. With tons of action, plenty of drama and alien scariness, and great characters once again. In this one it has been 6 months since everything happened. We follow Lance once again and he is having a pretty OK time with the holidays, spending time with his mom (who is doing much better which made me very happy).. but then BOOM explosion and from that point things get very spooky and very scary. I knew the aliens were back, but in what way would they be back? Full Crater Lake or something else entirely. You will have to read to find out what is going on. But I was definitely scared out of my wits at many times in the story. Seeing Lance, Kat, and Karim figure out things, go on adventure to find clues, and scary chase scenes. Next to aliens we also have friendships and making up. Because after Crater Lake things just broke apart for our group. Maks got a girlfriend, Ade and Kat weren’t being so nice to each other, Chets is still not OK with Karim (though we do find out that has a different reason than normal). I am happy to say that it fitted with the story. We needed all these teens to save the world. These kids knew what happened in Crater Lake and they are up for the challenge again. Karim, our new boy, I loved that guy so much. He brought some much needed lightness into the book with his jokes, his hair and how he loves that a tad too much to the point that we find out why people in his house aren’t contaminated, his comments on what is happening, and more. It is his first alien invasion and while he was scared for a lot of parts he also kept cool and did his very best to defeat the aliens along with his friends. The ending was one big rollercoaster of WOW WOW WOW. There is so much happening and the teens are showing all their strength and smarts. Their plan was super dangerous but also fantastic and I was rooting for them so so much. The villain was a surprise to me, I had several suspects but that one was definitely not on my list. Haha, maybe if I had re-read the other book before reading this one that person would have been on the list, but as of now, no. Also, those hints to a certain character… mmm… looks at the author and wonders what their plan is I could probably talk about this book for more and more because DANG it was a whirlwind of awesomeness. Aliens, friendship, action, and more! But I will keep it to this one. Highly recommended to all. Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Crater Lake Evolution definitely lived up to its name!! Everything about this was more evolved, the writing style, they character and the friendships. I really enjoyed reading this one. So much more than the 1st, even though it’s about alien spores it felt more real and believable than the 1st book did. I enjoyed the relationships between the characters, where they were it was so true to being an 11/12 year old moving from Primary School into High School and figuring out all over again how you f Crater Lake Evolution definitely lived up to its name!! Everything about this was more evolved, the writing style, they character and the friendships. I really enjoyed reading this one. So much more than the 1st, even though it’s about alien spores it felt more real and believable than the 1st book did. I enjoyed the relationships between the characters, where they were it was so true to being an 11/12 year old moving from Primary School into High School and figuring out all over again how you fit in. There were some truly touching moments. I loved the introduction to new characters and enjoyed how some people didn’t change at all (Trent) Also on the creepy scale. Yes. It gave off definitely more creepy vibes which just kept me engrossed and unable to put the book down until it was finished at 2am!! Thank you Publishers and Netgalley for granting me access to this E-Arc. I’m definitely more excited now to see if/how this world continues.

  5. 4 out of 5

    I _teach_muggles

    Phew! Now my pulse has returned to somewhere near normal… Jennifer Killick is back at her brilliant best and I for one am thrilled. I have been desperate for a sequel to Crater Lake and was leaping about with excitement after getting this advanced reader copy via Netgalley. If Emma Carroll is the ‘Queen of historical fiction’ then Jennifer Killick is rapidly becoming the loveable evil overlord of the comedic science-fiction horror. Firstly, if you have not read Crater Lake - the book that precedes Phew! Now my pulse has returned to somewhere near normal… Jennifer Killick is back at her brilliant best and I for one am thrilled. I have been desperate for a sequel to Crater Lake and was leaping about with excitement after getting this advanced reader copy via Netgalley. If Emma Carroll is the ‘Queen of historical fiction’ then Jennifer Killick is rapidly becoming the loveable evil overlord of the comedic science-fiction horror. Firstly, if you have not read Crater Lake - the book that precedes this new release - then you are really missing out. And secondly, you really need to as the action in Crater Lake Evolution picks up six months later and without the prior knowledge everything will seem a bit disjointed. It is Christmas time and several months have passed since Lance and his friends returned from the nightmare school residential at Crater Lake. Having survived the big-ass wasp like creatures, the once tightly-knit group of friends have gone their separate ways and are settling into life at new high schools. Old friends have been replaced by new ones and personalities are rapidly changing as Lance and his old gang adapt to their new school surroundings where they are all just trying to fit in. Like lots of towns, Straybridge is a quiet place where the local residents will tell you that nothing interesting ever happens. But when something does happen, boy does it kick off with a bang. There’s a huge explosion at the university, Lance’s mum starts acting weird and a rogue creature being used as a test subject for research purposes escapes from a secure science lab. As Lance and new best mate Karim begin to investigate what on earth is going on it soon becomes apparent that Lance and his mates are not the only things to have returned from Crater Lake. And the safety of Straybridge, in fact the safety of the entire human race, depends on Lance getting the gang back together to stop an invasion of advanced alien mutants. Crater Lake Evolution is gripping from start to finish. It is an action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled thriller and there is never a dull moment. Killick expertly builds up tension and suspense and there are plenty of surprises, twists and turns that will send shivers down the spine and have hearts racing. As the mystery builds and the threat from the aliens becomes more perilous there are plenty of close scrapes and near misses as the gang just about manage to stay one step ahead of the all-seeing and all-hearing mutants. Killick writes with a great awareness of her audience. As in her previous books, she has included references to some of her favourite things - Marvel, LEGO and Star Wars all get a shout out - and there are many other references that will strike a chord with the youth of today. The characters in the narrative are totally believable and readers will find at least one that they can relate to and will probably see their friends in others. The relationships between Lance and his friends feel totally genuine and their interactions are typical for children of that age - the banter they share, the arguments they have, the feelings and emotions that they are experiencing and have towards each other. Amidst all the alien hunting and strange goings-on are strong messages of friendship and teamwork. Lance and his mates all possess their own ‘super-powers’ - whether they be a tech-wizard or have superhuman climbing abilities - and the defeating of the aliens will depend on all of them bringing their talents to the party. As the gang slowly reforms and grudges are overcome and disagreements are resolved, Lance learns that it is OK to have new friends and that he can always rely on his old, true friends to be there when he needs them - such an important message for those children moving onto high school. As per the first book, the words ‘DON’T, EVER, FALL ASLEEP’ are emblazoned across the front cover and this is a warning I strongly suggest you heed. Probably best to avoid the tomato soup too. Recommended for 9+. Thanks to the lovely peeps at Firefly Press for the advanced reader copy that was obtained through Netgalley. Crater Lake Evolution is due for publication on 20th May 2021.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zac

    Crater Lake: Evolution is coming in May and I was lucky enough to read it early through NetGalley, thanks to Firefly Books. You need to add this book to your TBR pile (along with the first book) because you’re not going to want to miss it! Crater Lake: Evolution follows on several months after the events of the first book. Lance and his friends have started at different high schools and they have drifted apart. Lance has become friends with Karim and Chets is jealous of their friendship. Karim’s Crater Lake: Evolution is coming in May and I was lucky enough to read it early through NetGalley, thanks to Firefly Books. You need to add this book to your TBR pile (along with the first book) because you’re not going to want to miss it! Crater Lake: Evolution follows on several months after the events of the first book. Lance and his friends have started at different high schools and they have drifted apart. Lance has become friends with Karim and Chets is jealous of their friendship. Karim’s mum works at the university for XGen, which is giving their town renewable energy and super-fast Wi-Fi. Their town is the first SMARTtown in the country. Just when Lance thinks that life is back to normal, an explosion at the university sees the forces from Crater Lake taking hold in his town. These aren’t the same forces as before though. They have evolved into something more dangerous. Lance has to try and get the gang back together again, to work through their differences and save their families themselves. If they don’t stop the evil force’s plans in their town, the rest of the world will be next. Crater Lake: Evolution is a thrilling, nail-biting sequel that I devoured. I thought Crater Lake was an amazing story but Evolution is even better! The action is fast-paced and there were times I found myself holding my breath as I wasn’t sure how the characters were going to get through. Chapter 13 is one of the most terrifying scenes I’ve read in a children’s book! I can’t spoil what happens but it sent chills down my spine. It is incredibly creepy but such fantastic writing, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s the sort of book that I guarantee would capture a whole class of Year 7/8 students because it’s so gripping. Many of the characters from the first book are back in this book but there is a completely different dynamic. The characters have made new friends but some have also felt the pressure to be a different person at high school. I really liked the way that Jennifer developed the characters but also how she threw them together so that they had to deal with their issues and talk about their emotions. The interactions between the characters adds some comic relief into the story, with some good jokes at the expense of some of the least likeable characters. The ending is particularly satisfying and it feels like things are wrapped up nicely. But are they? If I know anything from reading Crater Lake it’s that there is always the possibility that there are loose ends that haven’t been completely dealt with. I would certainly like more adventures with the Crater Lake Crew. If you’re looking for a perfect read aloud to start the school year for Years 6-8, I highly recommend the first book in the series, Crater Lake. It’s a nice alternative to Holes but with a similar sense of mystery and great character development.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Lefever

    *please note this review contains spoilers* ​It has evolved! And I not just talking about the waspy alien community in Spraybridge. If you’ve read the first book – named simply Crater Lake – you’ll know that Jennifer Killick has a skill in balancing horror with comedy. But it’s a real feat to create a sequel that not only explains the premise of the first so niftily, without exposition and awkwardness, but grows the storyline with tenacity and tension. With Evolution, she does so - effortlessly. *please note this review contains spoilers* ​It has evolved! And I not just talking about the waspy alien community in Spraybridge. If you’ve read the first book – named simply Crater Lake – you’ll know that Jennifer Killick has a skill in balancing horror with comedy. But it’s a real feat to create a sequel that not only explains the premise of the first so niftily, without exposition and awkwardness, but grows the storyline with tenacity and tension. With Evolution, she does so - effortlessly. Like Stranger Things meets BBC classroom drama meets popular video game, One of Us, it’s about a group of old school friends that must dodge ill-meaning aliens whilst simultaneously trying to work out how to neutralise them. The plot has really clever little twists and the sci-fi element is true to its roots – there’s real science referencing in this book; prepare to become an amateur entomologist. Also be prepared to be disgusted by that. All great stories need characters we care about. The cast of Evolution is so colourful and tangible, you can’t not care. (Unless you’re one of them…. Bzzzzzz). We’ve met most of them before – their personalities are clear-cut, believable, unforgettable. But there’s a new one in this book: Karim. Endearingly self-adoring, with slick moves and quick banter and, importantly, a dependency on hair-styling products. I never thought main character, Lance’s friendship group could take any more members, but things are different now, and Karim is a super fresh addition to the cast. The dialogue is terrific and readers will love the humour tucked between every set of quotation marks. (Because if there's a time where humour is needed in adversity, it's when your mum's body has been hijacked by giant wasp extra-terrestrials). There’s lots of quipping, backchat and banter. It’s full of butts. But that’s where the buts stop. I have nothing but applause for Crater Lake: Evolution. It's funny and thrilling, and whether they realise it or not, kids will be learning an important life lesson: it doesn’t matter if friendships grow or change – so long as you can put differences aside and come together to work as one when bug-eyed aliens take over your town. That’s all that matters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma Bennett

    Lance is back home safely after his eventful year 6 residential and having difficulty adjusting to year 7. Most of the Crater crew have fallen out with each other but he has a new friend in Karim and is still friends with Chets. Things seem like they're going to be OK but then there's a huge explosion at the University in town and suddenly his mum is acting weird and odd stuff is happening. Along with Karim, who's mum works at the University, Lance goes to investigate. A dangerous study subject h Lance is back home safely after his eventful year 6 residential and having difficulty adjusting to year 7. Most of the Crater crew have fallen out with each other but he has a new friend in Karim and is still friends with Chets. Things seem like they're going to be OK but then there's a huge explosion at the University in town and suddenly his mum is acting weird and odd stuff is happening. Along with Karim, who's mum works at the University, Lance goes to investigate. A dangerous study subject has escaped but is that the danger or is there more to it? Lance is getting Crater Lake vibes and his suspicions might just be proved right. This was a griping read, I extended reading for pleasure time in class so I could get through an extra chapter. Dark, brilliantly written, super cool but not cheesy and chilling. Better than book 1? 🤔 yes, I think it just might be! Definitely read Crater Lake first as it gives a better grounding for the events in this book. Well done Jennifer Killick, you've smashed it again!. ☆☆☆☆☆☆

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Lance and his friends face the sporelings of Crater Lake but this time they have evolved. With fast paced action and good characterisation, this builds on what went before with the added dynamic of tensions amongst the friends due to transitioning to secondary school. I felt this worked really well, looking at the need to conform in a new school suddenly so much larger than their old primary school, the pressures that puts on old friendships and the need to be more tolerant and understanding. Ul Lance and his friends face the sporelings of Crater Lake but this time they have evolved. With fast paced action and good characterisation, this builds on what went before with the added dynamic of tensions amongst the friends due to transitioning to secondary school. I felt this worked really well, looking at the need to conform in a new school suddenly so much larger than their old primary school, the pressures that puts on old friendships and the need to be more tolerant and understanding. Ultimately they manage to deal with their issues becoming once more the team they need to be. There were also some genuinely creepy scenes here, Lance's mum climbing down the outside walls into his room being one. I really enjoyed this and it was just as good as the first book. My thanks to #NetGalley and Firefly Press for the ARC in return for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Following their near-disastrous Year 6 residential trip to Crater Lake, Lance and his friends are back at home and have started their different high schools. Lance has a new friend, Karim, but sadly the rest of his friends have all drifted apart. When a disturbance occurs in the town and strange things start happening, Lance knows it is related to the activities at Crater Lake. His suspicions become stronger when Miss Hoche reappears on the scene. Can Lance bring his friends back together and prev Following their near-disastrous Year 6 residential trip to Crater Lake, Lance and his friends are back at home and have started their different high schools. Lance has a new friend, Karim, but sadly the rest of his friends have all drifted apart. When a disturbance occurs in the town and strange things start happening, Lance knows it is related to the activities at Crater Lake. His suspicions become stronger when Miss Hoche reappears on the scene. Can Lance bring his friends back together and prevent yet another invasion? This is another brilliant read that will have UKS2 hooked. My class are already begging for me to read it to them but they will have to wait until my pre-order arrives! Thanks to NetGalley and publishers Firefly Press for this advance copy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andy Midwinter

    This fast paced adventure story is the perfect follow-up to the popular Crater Lake. This is one to move onto when you’ve read Crater Lake, but that really isn’t a hardship because as debut books go, it’s an absolute corker. I was nervous going into this book, because everything about book 1 is just so special. However I shouldn’t have been worrried, the characters we know and love are back complete with fresh additions, and this is another fantastic read. Thanks to NetGallery for giving me the c This fast paced adventure story is the perfect follow-up to the popular Crater Lake. This is one to move onto when you’ve read Crater Lake, but that really isn’t a hardship because as debut books go, it’s an absolute corker. I was nervous going into this book, because everything about book 1 is just so special. However I shouldn’t have been worrried, the characters we know and love are back complete with fresh additions, and this is another fantastic read. Thanks to NetGallery for giving me the chance to read this advance copy in exchange for an honest review

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt Ray

    And with that I have survived another alien invasion. After reading Crater Lake with the kids at school I was dying to see what adventure the gang would go on next. #craterlakeevolution did not disappoint. It had all the same thrills and suspense as the first book but with so much more humour and danger. It was wonderful seeing how the characters had grown since their time at Crater Lake and how they had dealt with the fall out from it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Kitcher

    Received an advanced reader copy. Crater Lake: Evolution is a fast-paced, scary, yet funny, read for kids (8-12) It is a sequel that manages to be even better than the original, Crater Lake. Jennifer Killick has her finger on the pulse on children's language, humour and interests making this an immersive and engaging read. It feels fresh and vibrant. Kids will love it! Received an advanced reader copy. Crater Lake: Evolution is a fast-paced, scary, yet funny, read for kids (8-12) It is a sequel that manages to be even better than the original, Crater Lake. Jennifer Killick has her finger on the pulse on children's language, humour and interests making this an immersive and engaging read. It feels fresh and vibrant. Kids will love it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    L.G. Cunningham

    Such a worthy sequel! Enjoyed how the author dealt with the difficult transition from primary to secondary school amidst the sporelings attack. The new mutation surrounding the stinger definitely stood out and will no doubt horrify all readers but the author injects enough comic relief to ease the tension and ensure its enjoyable for the age range. Third book please, Ms Killick!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rob Jenkins

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Out of the crater, and into the fire. Lance and co face bug peril again, not on a school expedition this time but in their own homes. Can they stay safe, and awake, not in Mak's survival bunker (oh, Trent you nasty piece of work) but in the secret Underground lab, and the garden centre!. Oh, what a feeling, mum's crawling on the ceiling. A worthy follow up to the terrific first book. Out of the crater, and into the fire. Lance and co face bug peril again, not on a school expedition this time but in their own homes. Can they stay safe, and awake, not in Mak's survival bunker (oh, Trent you nasty piece of work) but in the secret Underground lab, and the garden centre!. Oh, what a feeling, mum's crawling on the ceiling. A worthy follow up to the terrific first book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Walsh

    OMG!!!!!! I genuinely could not put this book down. From the first word it was full of adventure and surprises that shocked me throughout. I would even go as far as to say I loved this more than the first one!!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stewart

    An excellent follow up to the first story of Crater Lake. A great balance of familiarity and new excitement. Loved Lance’s character throughout, the glue holding it all together. It had wonderful moments of sincere friendship, honest hilarity and creepiness.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This series is definitely going to be a favourite of my class as they move up to year 6. They’re pacy, entertaining stories with a sense of gore and friendship which current kids would definitely be on board with.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Loved this book just as much as the first one. Impressed with how intense Jennifer Killick is able to make a Middle Grade without it becoming too scary I believe for a child to enjoy. Hope there is a 3rd book on its way 🤞

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm_lucy

    I really liked this book! It was the sequel to Crater Lake, and honestly I think it was slightly better! Lance's mum was a very suspicious character, and I loved the plot twists. It was an excellent read! 4 stars! :) I really liked this book! It was the sequel to Crater Lake, and honestly I think it was slightly better! Lance's mum was a very suspicious character, and I loved the plot twists. It was an excellent read! 4 stars! :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Becca_bookworm

    Another alien invasion and more complex aliens!! The second book in this series was not something you can put down!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Flora

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great fun, and AMAZING to see Type 1 Diabetes represented! First time I have seen a diabetic character in a children's book, really good to see! Great fun, and AMAZING to see Type 1 Diabetes represented! First time I have seen a diabetic character in a children's book, really good to see!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Cox

    I really enjoyed this book as it has lots of mystery in it and it is hard to work out what was going to happen at some points in the book

  24. 5 out of 5

    Holli

    Light cussing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This book is tense, full of action, and downright creepy. I highly recommend it, but to fully enjoy it start with Crater Lake first.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Grace Wright

    Even better than the first! Great book

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Friel

    Fun and exciting sequel to Crater Lake, picking up where the friends have all started secondary school and are struggling with the changes to their lives and friendships.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ludmila Marton

    Evolution of aliens and friendships. Honestly, the characters and their friendship is what makes these books so wholesome.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Esmith0968

    Good book, preferred the first crater lake book, but this is definitely worth reading and shows us what has happened to the characters and how they have grown since the previous book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Firefly Press in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of this book as Crater Lake was one of my favourite reads of the year last year so I was keen to find out what happens next with Lance and his friends. The answer it turns out is, quite a lot happens! The story takes place several months after the events in Crater Lake. Lance and the others have just completed their first term at secondary school an I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Firefly Press in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of this book as Crater Lake was one of my favourite reads of the year last year so I was keen to find out what happens next with Lance and his friends. The answer it turns out is, quite a lot happens! The story takes place several months after the events in Crater Lake. Lance and the others have just completed their first term at secondary school and it is almost Christmas. Several changes have taken place during this time and for various reasons, the friends are no longer as close as they once were. In fact some of them are not even speaking to each other any more! However, when an explosion at the local university leads to reports of a mysterious creature escaping and his mum starts acting weirdly, Lance knows he needs to get the gang back together. Aided by Lance's new friend Karim, the former fallies must put aside their arguments and work together to save the town from something even worse than the horror they faced at Crater Lake! Jennifer Killick is so good at writing children at this age - they sound just like the children I teach! They are all very relatable: talented in some ways, flawed in others. I love the suspense, the terrifying action scenes and the thrill of solving each part of the mystery. However, I think what I like best about these books are the scenes with the group discussions. They're full of witty replies and funny/embarrasing stories, but sometimes they're also the moments when the characters stop pretending and admit how they're really feeling - something we would all benefit from doing more often. Once again, the mystery is very well thought out and when you look back after reading, the clues are all there, but so cleverly woven into the story that you have to stay alert to pick up on them all! I know this will be a great story to read aloud to a class as there will be so much to discuss about their theories and predictions. The horror aspects of the story are delightfully creepy but also totally age-appropriate which is a great balance. I love the way the suspense builds throughout the story and the fact that this time they're not alone, away from home, but events are happening right in their home town and still no-one can help them, makes this book feel even scarier than the last one! I really liked the way this book explored how hard the change from primary to secondary school can be. Going to different secondary schools, balancing new friends with old friends, getting to know a new set of teachers and establishing your place in a new school are all big and genuine concerns that 11-year-old children face and I appreciated the way that this story handled these issues. I really think that reading Crater Lake in last term of Year 6 (just before the children go to seondary school) and reading Crater Lake: Evolution during the first term of Year 7, would be a great way to promote discussions about the transition between primary and secondary. This was a sensational sequel and I highly recommend it to anyone who has read book 1 (and those who have not read book 1 should do that immediately and then read this one!) Will there be a book 3? I hope so!

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