Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Sophia McDougall
When the war with the aliens continues to go badly, Alice Dare is sent to Mars to train for the army with a few hundred other children. One day all of the adults disappear, leaving the children unsupervised and forming groups fighting for control of the resources left to them. Alice and her friends leave their base on Mars to find answers to what happened to the adults. Their space ship is destroyed by mysterious creatures called space locusts that no one has seen before. When they discover one of the aliens attacking earth and take him captive, they learn that those creatures are why the other aliens have been attacking earth. The kids and their captive use their ingenuity to survive the unpleasant atmosphere of Mars and tell the grown-ups of both species about the space locusts in time to join forces and save the solar system from being eaten.
Both funny and scary, this book will entertain readers looking for younger science fiction. Although the science isn’t all accurate or believable, it has a science fiction feel. At times it feels like Ender’s Game mixed with Lord of the Flies, but there are also a lot of funny moments and the goldfish shaped robot helps ease the tension even in the most stressful moments of the book. It has more swearing than most books this age as the characters are trying to survive on an inhospitable area. The voice of the main character could be fun and cute, but sometimes information is glossed over or not given in detail and the voice seems to be a way to avoid thinking about things too complexly. The characters' role as misfits that manage to get along well when they have a similar goal is one of the strongest points of the book. In spite of its weaknesses, the humor and strength of the characters will make this book fun for a wide variety of readers.
*Contains moderate language, a non-graphic discussion of alien sex.