Who is the mysterious bloodstained man who stops their coach? Why is no one around when Lance and the rest of Year Six arrive at the brand new Crater Lake activity centre? But this is just the beginning of the school trip from hell; a fight for survival that sees five pupils band together to save their classmates from an alien fate far worse than death. But whatever happens, they must Never. Ever. Fall asleep!
Horror, humour and heart wrap around a plot that cranks up the tension from the start to heart-thumping effect. Don’t, ever, fall alseep it warns. There was never any fear of that; I couldn’t put it down!
Lance, Chets, Big Mak and Katja may not be the cool kids in class, but they’re definitely the ones you’d want your own children to be friends with. They’re kind, caring, selfless and stand up for each other. And, they are properly funny especially when Head Girl Adrianne joins their ranks. They use their individual strengths to make up a team strong enough to take on an alien invasion to rival War Of The Worlds or Stranger Things without ever overstepping the gruesome line for this age group.
This is the book that reminds me why I will be eternally grateful I can’t go on a Year 6 residential, eating soup in summer is wrong, and wasps are truly evil, while tardigrades should forever be hailed as heroes.
I loved the science skillfully woven into the story to help solve the mystery, without slowing the pace. I loved the honesty and vulnerability of the characters, their secrets that emerge and that they don’t allow them to define themselves. I loved the full on belly laughs to break the tension between scares (my dog not so much, she huffed off upstairs to go to sleep… oh…).
Huge thanks to Fritha and Firefly Press for sending me an early review copy.