I really, really shouldn’t have taken this long to read the second instalment of Adrian McKinty’s Lighthouse series. The Lighthouse War is – as Adrian himself said – much, much better than The Lighthouse Land, and that was very good. What I don’t understand is why Adrian McKinty is not a big household name in children’s fantasy. This is yet another of the instances I keep harping on about, where merit and success have very little to do with each other.
Buy and read the Lighthouse trilogy, for god’s sake!
Admittedly, I have yet to read The Lighthouse Keepers, but it can’t be that bad… In fact, I had a panic situation here, because as soon as number two was done I wanted to at least hold and stroke number three a little. Couldn’t find it. Searched high and low. In the end I recalled it was a hardback and then it turned out to be purple, and then I found it. Phew.
So. Fish. The Salmon of Knowledge was in the first book as well. But it sort of died. Jamie and Ramsay need to revive it, and please don’t try this at home! There is a fish van involved. A rather smelly one. And do keep track of how many planets our solar system has. Just in case. Lord Ramsay turns out to have a brother, the aptly titled Lord McDonald. Sounds better than Brian. Luckily he’s studied at MIT. Luckily he’s rather old. And tall. I didn’t think the Irish were tall. Red hair. I did know about the red hair.
And he’s not the only adult. Jamie (aka the Lord Ui Neill) very sensibly (not) told his Mom everything after their first adventure through the wormhole to this other galaxy. She was on morphine and didn’t believe him.
Anyway, there is this message from space which NASA can’t understand, but the boys work out it’s for them. So off they go again. The bad baddie appears to be less dead than they had expected, and Wishaway is less happy to see Jamie than he’d hoped. All is good, in other words.
Very exciting adventure, yet again, and so very funny. The humour is what makes it stand out. Nerdy and geeky, these males have some very useful ‘special interests’ and everything from Star Wars to Harry Potter comes up. A very little bit of romance. Plenty of ice age weather.
There is just enough of Carrickfergus to give the story that Irish flavour which makes it stand apart from dozens of other books on space travel. A tiny bit of New York and plenty of Altair, in the Pegasus constellation. The Cassini space probe plays its part. Leprechauns get a mention. And the Lady Ui Neill is a credit to motherhood everywhere.
I loved this.