Book Review: CRATER LAKE EVOLUTION by Jennifer Killick (Middle Grade Monday)

Genre: Horror
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - book 2



It’s five months since the nightmare Year Six School trip to Crater Lake, and something has gone very wrong in Lance’s home town of Straybridge. There’s been an explosion at the University, a mysterious test creature is missing and no one is allowed in or out of the town. On top of this Lance has lost touch with his friends since starting at his new school. And now his mum has been acting strangely since they started decorating the Christmas tree…

As he goes door to door trying to reunite his team, Lance realises how bad things have got. Now he, Katja, Max, Chets and Ade, plus new friend Karim, must think bigger and bolder if they are to save their families. But there’s something else out there too – something straight out of their nightmares… 

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


CRATER LAKE EVOLUTION is a horror sequel that successfully takes an already established monster and makes it scarier and fresh-feeling.

The aliens of CRATER LAKE are back and they are more dangerous, harder to defeat, and all around creepier. They feel like both familiar and different all at the same time, which provided nice continuity while also feeling like we weren’t getting a rehash of the previous book. It means there’s a new mystery to how the aliens are infecting people, and thus the crew have to think up a new way of stopping them. (The night time bedroom scene was so unnerving – hope I sleep tonight…)

The new location also helps with the freshness feeling. The crew are in their home town, which means the adventure/survival attempt occurs in an urban environment rather than a wild setting. Plus they are on home turf, so know the streets. This combined with the fact they’ve been through something similar before means that they feel more confident. Not so confident that they aren’t acknowledging the threat, but that they feel competent and you have faith in them.

CRATER LAKE EVOLUTION is also a book about the pressures put on friendships due to starting new schools, how new environments, different schools, and new people can influence people into changing and the toll that takes. Plus it tackles the tensions between old and new friends. It also stresses the importance of why you should fight to keep and restore friendships. It gives this book a real heart.

I have finished the CRATER LAKE series, but luckily there is another series by Jennifer Killick with a new entry out for me to read (DREAD WOOD)!

Read my reviews of other books by Jennifer Killick:

Crater Lake (this series):

Dread Wood:


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