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Crater Lake

Crater Lake, Evolution

Published: 20 May 2021

Paperback / softback, 256 pages

Recommended for age 9+ and 11+

By Jennifer Killick

Published by Firefly Press Ltd

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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. There's been an explosion at the University, a mysterious test creature is missing. On top of this Lance has lost touch with his friends since starting at his new school. Can Lance reunite his team and save his town?!

The Crater Lake series

Crater Lake
Crater Lake, Evolution

The Reading Bug Y6 pack

Easy purchase - add our curated pack to your basket with one click

An easy purchase pack of books that have been selected to engage hard to reach readers in year 3. Selected by our experienced and qualified team of teachers, librarians and education consultants.
  • A Monster Ate My Packed Lunch!
  • The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff
  • Level Up #1
  • World Burn Down
  • Icarus Was Ridiculous
  • When Stars are Scattered
  • Sticky Pines: The Bigwoof Conspiracy
  • Mason Mooney:Doppelganger Detective #2
  • D-Day Dog
  • Arctic Star
  • The Thing At Black Hole Lake
  • Class Act
  • Mason Mooney:Paranormal Investigator #1
  • The Iron Man
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Comic Classics: Treasure Island
  • Home Ground
  • Welcome to Trashland
  • The Book No One Wants to Read
  • The Broken Leg of Doom
  • To Wee or Not to Wee
  • Tin Boy
  • Cicada
  • The Incredible Record Smashers
  • The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates
  • Crater Lake, Evolution
  • Crater Lake
  • The Viewer
  • Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel Volume 1
  • Comic Classics: Great Expectations
  • Kid Normal: Kid Normal #1
  • The Horror of Dunwick Farm
  • White Feather
  • Defenders:Dark Arena #2
  • Defenders: Killing Ground #1
  • Defenders:Pitch Invasion #3
  • Dream Team
  • Keeper
  • Peace Maker
  • Robot Girl
  • Ninja:First Mission
  • Ninja:Assassin
  • Ninja: Death Touch
  • The Invasion of the Crooked Oak
  • The Beast of Harwood Forest
  • Explorer: Mystery Boxes
  • Sudden Death

Reviewed by Rumena Aktar

Crater Lake Evolution is the second part to the Crater Lake trilogy. And while you get a brief overview of what you missed if you haven’t read Book One, I highly recommend reading that first. If nothing else, it will help you understand the friendship dynamics of the main characters and prepare you for how dark this book gets. Jennifer Killick is brilliant at making a relatable bunch of characters. You can imagine being their friend or enemy and as an educator you will recognise these characters amongst children you have taught.

The first chapter hooks you in straight away. Lance and Chet chat as they play together on an online games console. They are missing their friends and reminisce about their time battling aliens over the summer. We get the sense that the friends aren’t as close as they once had been and that the rest of the group also seem to be growing apart. Suddenly, their houses shake as an apocalyptic explosion goes off in the distance and they realise strange things are happening once more. Lots of authors write excellent cliffhangers that build up so much suspense. But in Crater Lake Evolution, it is expertly done, making it impossible to stop after reading just one chapter.

In this sequel, there’s a curfew in place, no access to the internet and Miss Hoche is back! But this time the strange creatures (sporelings) are a bit more inconspicuous. It’s hard to tell where they fall in the hierarchy of their life form or whether or not someone has been infected and turned into a sporeling. New character Karim also makes an excellent addition to the gang of heroes.

This book is much creepier than the first. With their parents also infected and being in their own homes this time, this feels like a situation you can actually imagine yourself being in. And for that reason it’s all the more terrifying. I can’t finish this review without mentioning the humour. Crater Lake Evolution is littered with humour that is typical of Killick and so relatable to children. I love seeing this sci fi story through Lance’s eyes. Even in the most terrifyingly tightest spots, Lance seems to have a humorous take on the situation. ‘I shove Karim after her and I take the rear, getting a view of Karim’s butt that I never really needed in my life.’ As a class read aloud this book is guaranteed to have your children hooked and in fits of laughter. Best suited for year 5 upwards.

I am a Primary School Librarian, who is passionate about getting the right books into the hands of children. I strongly believe that we need to be reading books that represent people from all walks of life, to ensure that we create a fairer and more empathetic world. I live in Birmingham with my husband and four children. When I'm not reading, buying or talking about books, I enjoy writing, baking and creating art and crafts with my children.