Alice has pink hair, a famous spaceship-flying mum, a laser-shooting goldfish as a teacher and she's being chased by invisible aliens. She's also been evacuated to Mars where she and a few hundred other kids will be trained up as the next generation of spaceship-flying alien killers. Along with nerdy Josephine, animal-loving Noel and his rebellious big brother Carl, and the goldfish, Alice finds herself with the minor challenge of having to save the whole galaxy before it gets eaten.
Sophia McDougall has created a fascinating world on a realistically terraformed Mars so that even the nerdiest kid should be able to enjoy the story without picking holes in the science.
I loved the fact that the main characters were British and Australian, not American, and the way the four main characters interacted. There are touches of lots of different genres and other stories - a bit of Lord of the Flies, Star Trek, your typical space shoot-em-up, and a bit of mystery thrown in along the way, along with some toilet humour which should make the boys laugh and girls react much like Alice does - eeeewww!
The book is the first in a new series, but it works really well as a standalone book and would be a great one to pack to take on holiday. It's aimed at boys and girls aged nine and over, and would make a fun, light read for anyone who enjoys children's fiction.
- Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall
- RRP £9.99 (paperback)
- Published by Egmont
- ISBN-13: 978-1405268677