Triskellion 2: The Burning by Will Peterson

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Triskellion 2: The Burning by Will Peterson

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jason Mark Curley
Reviewed by Jason Mark Curley
Summary: The Burning hot sequel to Triskellion - a great read!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 496 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 978-1406307108

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It probably goes without saying, but if you haven't read the first Triskellion novel this review might instantly spoil it for you. One caveat though – if the review of the first one put you off and you're wondering if you should just start with the second one, this is a definite possibility – book two is great.

Rachael and Adam are back, and this novel picks up from where the first one left off: with the twins making a helicopter escape from the village of Triskellion, with help from their friend Laura Sullivan, the archaeologist who helped with the excavations of the burial site. But when Laura gets Rachael, Adam and their mother back to a research centre in the city, the three of them are separated and drugged.

When Rachael finally awakens, she finds herself back in her room in New York, with no memories of how she got there. Everything is exactly as she left it before her visit to England, but she soon discovers she's not left; this room is just a perfect reproduction in the Hope Project, the organisation Laura really works for.

Both Rachael and Adam are experimented on without their knowledge; their alien DNA the subject of fascination for the scientists and their sinister backers. Though Adam quickly settles into a new fully catered life, it isn't long before Rachael begins to feel things don't add up, and begins to uncover the scary truth about the Hope Project, realising they have to escape.

Before writing this review, I had a look back at the review I wrote of the first book. Peterson has done a great job with The Burning. To begin with, the space and close focus of the characters in the early part of this novel brought me much more in tune with the main characters and gave me time to get to know them – something I felt was lacking in book one.

This book seems scarier and the children seem to be in much more genuine danger. That was a part of the first book which was both its strength and its downfall; the village was stronger in its realisation than the children were. In this book they get to go out into the real world and, in doing so, we really get to know who these characters are.

The plot is tight and well driven, making this an absolute page turner and I found myself instantly forgiving Peterson for the plodding start of the first book. This really is a step forward in both writing style and the delivery of imaginative concepts. At 471 pages is a real chunk of a book, but I didn't feel it slowed down unnecessarily at any time; it just gave me a lot more book to get lost in.

On balance, I think it is worth reading the first book before this one. I think, all in all, this is going to make a worthy series of books that could stand the test of time.

If you like this I'd read Blood Hunters by Steve Voake and The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp by Jim Arnosky.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending me this book to review.

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