The Valley of the Strange – Dashe Roberts

“There’s someone over there.” He pointed. Lucy scanned the riverbank. “I don’t see anyone,” she said. “Are you sure?” But Milo couldn’t make out the human shake he’d seen before. Now there was nothing but bark and bushes. “No.” He looked around. “But I really feel like we’re being watched.”

In this third instalment of the Sticky Pines series, Lucy’s investigation into the Pretenders leads to unusual behaviour from her father, the return of an old friend and the discovery of life-changing secrets beneath the Big Crater Valley.

I am a massive fan of the Sticky Pines series and it’s great to see such a sophisticated science-fiction, Stranger Things-sque series for children. From The Bigwoof Conspiracy (you can find my review here) to The Thing At Black Hole Lake (my review is here) and now The Valley of the Strange, each book cleverly unpeels another layer of Sticky Pines life and adds to the mystery. Like Nucralose, it’s devilishly addictive and this third adventure will have you on the edge of your seat. Not only does this book ooze secrets and mystery but there’s an adorable sub-plot exploring first love, which I’ve long wondered about since book 1 (and personally, I’d read the books in order to fully appreciate the mysteries and plot development).

What I particularly enjoyed about The Valley of the Strange is that message that we don’t know everything about our world (both figuratively and literally) and that’s okay – should we be scared of that we do not know? The power play between Lucy and Mr Fisher builds to a stunning climax and be warned, you will have to scrape your jaw off the floor by that ending! Book 4 had better be coming quickly as there’s so much left to learn.

Suggested reading age: 8+

The Valley of the Strange is written by Dashe Roberts and published by Nosy Crow. You can buy all three books in the series now!

Published by Tom G

Avid reader. Dad of 2. Husband. Assistant Headteacher.

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