Sticky Pines is fast becoming that must-read series. The sequel to the fabulous 'Bigwoof Conspiracy' is just as fun, weird and hilarious. 'The Thing at Black Hole Lake' expands the mythology with eerie atmosphere, terrific set-pieces and an ending that shocks and tantalizes.

After uncovering Nu Co's secrets, Lucy Sladan continues to investigate the strange goings-on in Sticky Pines, including uncovering more about the mysterious Pretenders. But it's her ex-friend Milo Fisher who is on to something big this time. He discovers that something massive and monstrous is lurking in Black Hole Lake...

Dashe Roberts again manages to combine the weird, the scary and the funny with wonderfully real-feeling characters into a quirky and exciting plot. Each chapter ends with more questions, and like the X-Files or Stranger Things, you cannot help but want to find out the truth. In this sequel, Roberts digs deeper into the mystery. I love the sense of history and mythology; the mix of the arcane with the scientific. But as everything gets weird, Roberts skillfully pulls the rug out and the mundane jerks us back to 'reality', creating tension and further mystery. For me, this is what makes such sci-fi adventures work: the grounding in the real. In saying that,  I loved the symbology, the sense that otherworldly beings live next to and around our central characters. Just who are the Pretenders and what other paranormal powers do they possess? Further sequels will delve deeper I'm sure, and I can't wait to learn more!

What makes Sticky Pines really work is the way Lucy and Milo are written - the way they react, think and what they say. Again the dialogue sparkles and it's such a joy to read. 

If you haven't read this series then do so, you're sure to be pulled along for the ride. My review of the 'Bigwoof Conspiracy' is here

Thank you to the brilliant Nosy Crow for my copy to review.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/sticky-pines-the-thing-at-black-hole-lake/dashe-roberts/9781788008174

© 2020 by Chris Soul. 

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