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Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick - Review

Sunday, June 18, 2023

When I read Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick I was impressed with the author and I had heard of this book so I bought a copy on eBay I think and I've been meaning to get to it and a couple of weeks ago I finally did. And I loved it! I liked it more than Dread Wood, I think. It's a lot of fun, but with some genuinely scary bits too. I can imagine this going down really well for kids aged between 9 and 12. 

So, Lance is in Year 6 at his junior school, the final year. It's close to the end of the year, too, because it's hot. His best friends are Chets, Big Mak, and Katja. He is bulled by Trent, one of the most popular boys in the class, and the deputy head, Miss Hoche, has it in for Lance and has done since an incident at the beginning of the year. The whole class is going on a residential trip to Crater Lake. There's a new residential centre and Lance's class is the first one to use it. They're all quite excited on the trip there when suddenly the coach has to come to a stop because a man has run out into the road.

The man is called Dale, and he's a worker from Crater Lake, and he's covered in blood. The coach driver stays to help him and everyone else walks to the centre. There, they're met by a man called Digger. He shows them round the centre. Lance has a special medical need so he gets a room to himself down some steps. His friends don't know what this need is, though, as he's never told anyone about it. The kids are fed tomato soup - in the heat! - and make plans to have a midnight feast later. 

But no one arrives to get Lance. So he goes to his friends' dormitory himself. And on the way he comes across some other kids in his class, only their eyes have 'bugged out' and they don't seem to realise who Lance is. 

The book then becomes a fight for survival as Lance and his friends, and new friend Adrianne, try to work out what has happened and how they can escape with their lives. Like with Dread Wood, there are some genuinely scary parts and some really clever parts. There's also a lot of bonding between the friends which I really loved. 

I will definitely have to read more by this author because they're just so good! I'm giving this five out of five. 

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