Meteorite Strike by A G Taylor
|Meteorite Strike by A G Taylor|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A vivid start to a new sci-fi action franchise. A mysterious virus leads to our hero and heroine being segregated as something special, which isn't what they had planned at all.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: January 2010|
|Publisher: Usborne Publishing|
Sarah is not ready. She's not ready to forgive the man who is her father, for abandoning her and her young brother Robert eight years ago. She cannot yet forgive the circumstances of her mother dying, and of the promise they were forced to make, to go to Australia with the man, and start a new life. She is certainly not prepared for the meteor strike to smash into Australia just as they fly above it, which downs the plane in a horrid crash, and seems to carry with it an alien virus which forces many people to drop permanently asleep.
There was a little bit of me that baulked at this title, as I didn't have to read far to discover it was evidently the first book in a new sci-fi themed action series for the under thirteens. However I could soon forget that - I didn't have to read far to find out the quality on display here either.
There's no biographical data about our author - I can only guess at their gender - but I certainly do like the look of their future career, if this is their debut offering. He/she/it conveys at times a striking visual image, whether it is the after-effects of the plane crash, with the adults succumbing to the fall virus as they totter among the burnt victims, or the children zorbing around their quarantine zone, by the time some mysterious people have nabbed them.
The people and reasons behind their being nabbed struck me as a little familiar, but I didn't mind the changes to the Sarah and Robert at the start of the book. It certainly allows for a pacey and vivid grand set piece with which to end. Alright, that might well offer a bit of OTT action - this could be risible and then some if ever filmed - but I think this serves as very fresh and amenable entertainment for the right reader.
It's a very PG read - there's no real blood or overly sincere threat, nor bad language, but at the same time the mysteries involved in this series are strong ones - and the teasers we get for book two are definitely enough to make me want to return to this world soon. If your child already shows a preference for subtlety then I might steer them away from this, but for the engaging and pacey thrills, mixed with intriguing set-up, and broad, quick characterisations, I have to recommend this as a good opening gambit.
I must thank Usborne's kind people for my review copy.
To return to the familiarity I mentioned, there was another group of similarly segregated mysterious young people I met in Going to Ground by Ali Sparkes.
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