Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Lighthouse War

The Lighthouse War

Adrian McKinty
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Abrams, 2006   ISBN: 978-0810993549

It has been many months since Jamie and Ramsay came home from their adventures on the planet Altair. They appear to be quite ordinary boys but they were not untouched by the experiences that they had on the planet. For one thing Jamie has not been able to dispel his feelings for Wishaway, the girl who came to mean so much to him during his time away from Earth. Unfortunately the device which took the boys to Altair in the first place, the Salmon, is out of power and Jamie and Ramsay do not believe that it can be used again. Because of this the boys do not expect to go to Altair ever again.

Jamie and Ramsay are therefore amazed when they get a message from Altair saying ""Come Ui Neill."" It was sent in binary form using radio waves and luckily Ramsay is very good at solving puzzles. He and Jamie are indeed the only people on Earth who know how to figure out the message. Without too much discussion the boys agree that they have to respond to the summons. With the help of Ramsay's half brother Brian they go to nearest power station and juice up the Salmon, causing a huge power blackout in the process.

The boys don't really get much of a chance to plan their trip. Before they can do so they, along with Brian and Jamie's mother Anna, are whisked away to Altair. Worse still Jamie and Ramsay end up in one place and Brian and Anna end up in the clutches of the Witch Queen of Alkhava. One of the Queen's forbearers was the person who sent Jamie the radio message that he got on Earth. Knowing that her planet was doomed to freeze, she came up with a plan to call for help. The present day Queen now plans on getting the Salmon away from Jamie and using it to get her people to the safety of Earth.

Jamie and Ramsay find themselves many miles away from Alkhava. Thankfully the boys are in Aldanese territory and soon after they arrive Wishaway and her new husband Prince Lorca arrive on the scene. It is decided that Lorca and his people will help Jamie and Ramsay to rescue Brian and Anna from Alkhava. What they do not know is that the Alkhavans know that they are coming and when Lorca's forces arrive at the gates of the Witch Queen's city they are ambushed and butchered.

By some miracle Jamie and his party, including Brian and Anna, are able to escape. The only route open them is to go out across the Gag Mack, a huge inhospitable glacier. With the Queen's forces pursuing them, they head for some ruins which they hope will offer them some protection. Only the ruins have long since been covered up by the glacier. Not knowing what may lie ahead they press on until they come to a place where the glacier has not been able to make an impact. There they find a space ship which presumably was built by the same people who built the Salmon. Will the travelers be able to use the ship to escape from the Witch Queen?

Readers who enjoyed the first Lighthouse book will, without a doubt, be enthralled by this second book in the trilogy. One never knows what is going to happen next, and unexpected plot shifts will keep readers on their toes all the way through the book. Not only is there adventure and exploration in the tale, but there is also that touch of romance which balances things out perfectly.