Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Flash Flood: Code Red

Flash Flood: Code Red

Chris Ryan
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2010   ISBN: 978-0099488637

Ben isn’t expecting this trip to London to be very eventful. He is coming to London to see his mum for the day and hopefully all the train delays won’t make him too late. It is pouring with rain, yet again, and everyone is pretty fed up with the weather. Of course Ben is sure that his mother will say that global warming is to blame. After all, that is what she does when she gets on her soapbox and makes her loud declarations about the fate of the planet.

Ben is waiting for his mum when quite suddenly all hell breaks loose in London. The Barrier on the Thames has been damaged and flood waters pour into the great city. In just minutes the water overflows the banks and surges into the streets, rising rapidly and causing terribly destruction wherever it goes. At first Ben stays where he is in his mother’s office building, but when fires start to break out, he takes the plunge and ventures out into the streets. At first Ben and some other people are in a boat, but Ben ends up in the water after a while, and thereafter his situation rapidly deteriorates. More than anything he wants to get to the train station where he was supposed to meet his mother. Is she all right?

This high drama thriller is wonderfully entertaining, and teenage readers will be fascinated to follow the various adventures that Ben has as he tries to navigate the very alternated environment of a flooded London. As they follow the stories of Ben and other characters, readers will be able to see how a disaster can bring out the very best, and the very worst, in people. They will also see how a simple accident – in this case the collision of a ship with the Barrier in the Thames – can cause so much death and destruction in a very short period of time.

This is the first title in the “Code Red” series.