By Author / Illustrator
Nosy Crow Ltd
Paperback / softback
The sequel to The Bigwoof Conspiracy takes us back to Sticky Pines, a small US town where weird things happen. Milo, loyal to his double-crossing, business-mogul father, has taken a trip to Black Hole Lake, leaving Lucy to continue her search into alien life and the Truth that she knows is out there. Milo's discovery of a sinister, dark creature in the Lake will put them both in terrible danger and also - if they survive their adventure - make them friends again. Perfect for younger siblings of Stranger Things' fans, The Thing at Black Hole Lake is laugh-out-loud, hair-raising sci-fi that will raise more questions about extraterrestrial life on earth than it answers...
See also: Sticky Pines: The Valley of the Strange
The Thing at Black Hole Lake is the second book in the Sticky Pines - Where Things Get Weird series, and having read book 1, I seriously didn't think things could get any weirder, but they do! The sequel to the 'Bigwoof Conspiracy' by Dashe Roberts is just fab. An all round great read; involving a cast of easily identifiable characters (not to mention a few less identifiable ones too), page-turning action and adventure, and just the right amount of weirdness to top it all off!
The Thing at Black Hole Lake features the same main characters from the Bigwoof Conspiracy; Lucy Sladon and Milo Fisher, and while having read book 1 first will take you right to the centre of the action, this book reads just as well as a standalone. Book 2 picks up right where the first left off. Lucy is still determined to uncover the truth about the supernatural 'beings', the 'Pretenders', that live in Sticky Pines and protect them from NuCo, Milo's father's company, and it's this determination that has driven a wedge between the two former friends. Milo clearly loves his Dad and is certain his father is an honest, hard working man. He refuses to believe that his father or his company can be causing any harm. However, this time it's Milo who makes the strange discovery and he very soon realises that there is only one person he can turn to for help, his old friend Lucy.
I loved the fast pace of this adventure and the way in which the friendship between Lucy and Milo is tested continually throughout. While at the start it's clear that all is not well between the two, its obvious that they would like to make amends but neither seems prepared to compromise. This test of friendship between the two children alone makes for a great whole class or guided group read discussion for Key Stage 2. Add to the mix supernatural beings and gallons of pink goo, and this most definitely will be a hit for any child who enjoys a great all-action adventure. Any adult who remembers and enjoyed the antics of Scooby Doo and his crime fighting pals in the Mystery Machine will also most certainly be hooked by the weird happenings at Sticky Pines.
Not wishing to nag but if Dashe Roberts happens to read this: I can't wait to find out what happens next at Sticky Pines!
224 pages / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+