Plague Island by Justin D'Ath
The Lost World Circus, Book 4. Penguin, 2014. ISBN:
Highly recommended for readers from 8+. Themes: Circuses, Adventure, Dystopian World, Animals. Justin D'Ath's Lost World Circus books are set in the near future, in a dystopian world over-run by ghost rats where nearly every bird and animal has been killed by the virulent rat flu. Captain Noah's has saved the last of their kind in a concerted effort to stop total extinction, keeping them at his Lost World Circus. Each book in the series focuses on the saving of a different species.
The main character Colt possesses superhuman strength received when he overcame a ghost rat bite and his mother the circus vet saved him with a dose of cow vaccine. He has become Superclown and his strength requires that he constantly keeps up his food intake, this time he is forced to eat rat food! His friend Birdy a young Asian girl and circus acrobat is taken hostage in this adventure and Colt sets out to search for her and rescue the last regent firebirds in the world stolen by thieves working for a foreign billionaire.
This adventure is fast-paced with a kidnapping, birdnapping, a wild flight on a sea plane, an uninhabited island, a strange colony of ghost rats and fight off the evil thieves.
Justin D'Ath is an author who really meets the needs of readers, with relatable characters with superhuman powers, short fast-paced chapters and the themes of the fight of good versus evil and the plight of animal extinction this series is a winner. Great for older reluctant readers.