Meteorite Strike - A.G.Taylor - 21/01/10

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A new life with a long-lost dad, a meteorite strike, a plane crash in Australia and an alien virus...

And that is just the start of an action-packed, adrenalin-fuelled adventure guaranteed to leave young readers bewitched, bedazzled and bewildered!

Meteorite Strike is A.G.Taylor's thrilling and high impact debut novel and looks certain to stir up a 'dust storm' in the world of children's fiction.

A heart-racing, hair-raising and vibrantly visual hybrid of Heroes, X-Men and Lost, this story really has got the lot...

After the death of their mother, Sarah and Robert Williams are travelling to a new home in Melbourne with Daniel, the dad who walked out on them eight years ago.

When a meteorite hits central Australia causing a 100km wide dust cloud, their plane is forced to crash land in the desert ... but not before 13-year-old Sarah sees Daniel stashing away what looks like contraband goods in his flight bag.

The three manage to escape from the wreckage but soon discover that the meteorite was carrying a strange virus that leaves its victims with a terrifying sleeping sickness.

As everyone starts to fall into a coma, Daniel, Sarah and kid brother Robert seem to be immune ... except that the two children are developing psychic abilities which allow them to sense danger and read each other's minds.

They flee the catastrophe only to be kidnapped by HIDRA, an international military-scientific task force under the control of the Colonel Randall Moss, a man with beautiful blue eyes but with a chilling coldness at their centre.

And HIDRA's motives are definitely not honourable ... far from saving the world, they want to control it ... by harnessing the powers of Sarah and Robert, and other children just like them.

But Sarah is also a force to be reckoned with; Trouble with a capital T, she has a quick mind and enough attitude to make the meanest of men shrink...

Taylor has created a superb cast of seemingly ordinary characters who act out their adventure in an extraordinary paranormal world. But it is the action sequences which take top honours ... momentous and scorchingly vivid, they are so real that it hurts!

Full of scintillating sci-fi, epic landscapes and the conflicting forces of good and evil, Meteorite Strike should appeal to both boys and girls and has all those cinematic qualities that bring stories to life and make reading such fun.

And the good news is that just as the dust is settling, there will be another exciting chapter to look forward to when Alien Storm, the second book in the series, hits the shelves later this year.

Meteorite Strike is published on January 29th.

(Usborne, paperback, 5.99)