Review Blog

Mar 02 2010

The Phoenix Files: Contact by Chris Morphew

cover image

Book 2, Hardie, Grant Egmont, 2010. ISBN 9781921502408
(Age 11+) Those who have read the first in this series, Arrival, know the trio of teenager Luke Hunter and his friends Jordan and Peter are the only that can stop the destruction of the human race. There are only 100 days until all civilization beyond the remote Australian town of Phoenix is destroyed by something called Tabitha.
Contact takes up the story where Arrival left off, with 88 days to go at the beginning and 70 at the end. The trio's fearless investigation and a few lucky coincidences enable them to learn what Tabitha is and where the secret operational centre of the sinister Shackleton Corporation is.
Tension arises between the two boys over who will win the brave Jordan's affections. Parents behave strangely and the school principal is revealed as a malevolent character. The sleuthing leads to a nail biting climax where the heros narrowly escape death in order to appear, one presumes, in the next four books in the series. They succeed and survive, of course, despite incredible odds against them.
As in Arrival, Contact is written in an easy to read, mostly dialogue style with the teenagers being smart and funny. The evil Shackleton emerges as a traditional ruthless comic book, sci fi baddie bent on world power for an as yet undefined reason. Whilst there are tense moments and grisly events in this page turner some may find the pace too slow as the teenagers figure what to do next.
However, once hooked, both genders of middle school age will no doubt eagerly await book 3.
Kevyna Gardner

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates