By Author / Illustrator
M A Bennett
Suspense & Thrillers
Hot Key Books
Paperback / softback
After the dramatic events of the last few weeks, Greer Macdonald is trying to concentrate on her A levels. Stuck for a play to direct for her drama exam, she gets help from an unexpected quarter . . .A priceless lost play, buried by time, is pushed under her door. It is Ben Jonson's The Isle of Dogs, a play considered so dangerous in Elizabethan times that every copy was burned . . . except one. As the students begin to rehearse, events become increasingly dark and strange, and they lead Greer back to where she never thought she would return - Longcross Hall.There she discovers that not only is the Order of the Stag alive and well, but that a ghost from the past might be too . . .
Greer MacDonald is back at S.T.A.G.S for her final year and trying to accept that the events of the previous year really happened. With a new temporary Abbot in charge of the school and a play to direct to ensure her place at Oxford, she is floundering to find a suitable script until the first act of a previously lost one is slipped under her door. Having vowed never to return to Longcross Hall, the scene of the previous years horror and tragedy, Greer and her two friends take the plunge and visit once more, to uncover further secrets and dive again into the secretive world of The Order of the Stag.
M.A. Bennett begins this sequel to S.T.A.G.S with a very brief summary of the previous book. This helps to give a background and the book stands well on its own if you haven't read the first. As in the first, book there are lots of film references made throughout the book and I did feel they were overdone this time, detracting at times from the point being made. Setting them aside I was, however, hooked into the mystery and intrigue and felt compelled to keep reading. I also found there were a couple of throwaway comments about feminism that were made in a derogatory manner. Bearing in mind these books are aimed at young adults I would have preferred these to be omitted.
The story moves along briskly and the base plot develops further with the excess and entitlement portrayed of the upper classes and their lifestyles - highly intriguing and entertaining. The plot as it unfolds is not only cleverly thought out but informative, based on some historical fact. There are elements that stretch the imagination as always. but overall as a series aimed at young adults this can't fail to appeal due to the settings, mystery and a tiny touch of romance.
It left me wanting to read the third book, always a good sign. Recommended.
382 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+