Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
“Mr. Westover evokes pure creativity in this fantasy story of young adults working together for a perilous cause no matter the hazards they face. This is sure to please the adolescent reader looking for excitement and mystery.”
Crater Lake National Park is the place to go if you love the wilderness, fresh air, and the majestic beauty of nature. Nevertheless, Ethan isn’t too thrilled about attending camp for the summer. His parents and his 11-year-old sister, Jordan, try to convince him he’ll have an exciting time.
They meet Ethan’s Uncle Bart, a park ranger. He shows them around the ranger station, telling them about the ancient legend of the lake. Ethan gets a glimpse of some of the museum’s artifacts, thinking they’re cool.
Ethan’s mom, dad, and sister spend the day. They trek up the mountain with another family, who has a young daughter named Allie, whom Ethan is trying to impress. Their climb proves to be exhilarating, but also tiring. They stop for a rest, and the kids are shocked when the earth all of a sudden opens up and swallows their parents. Terrified, they don’t know what to do or where to turn.
Ethan, Jordan, and Allie meet two other kids, Jacob and Brady. They are scouts who hiked with their troop, but lost them when Brady had to make a nature call, and Jacob was sent to stay close by. As the five ban together to figure out what to do, a young Native American boy appears out of nowhere. He introduces himself as “Che-tan” and confirms the story of the lake is true.
The legend of the lake deals with two chieftains, ancient warriors. Chieftain Llao had been banished beneath the earth with his minions centuries ago. He is now trying to assert his claim by capturing all those over the age of 16 to his underworld.
Chief Skell, his adversary, is determined to keep him buried and impotent. Che-tan promises to help the kids reclaim their parents and the missing scout master before they are banished forever to the underworld.
Jacob and Brady retrieve supplies at the ranger’s station: warm clothing to protect them from the cold night air on the mountain, water for hydration, and food for nourishment. The park is deserted and Jacob, an intelligent and moral young man, leaves a note listing the items they have borrowed. Then they set off on their quest.
Che-tan informs them they must perform certain rituals within a small window of time in order to reclaim the adults. Because it is the summer solstice, the chieftain’s power is at its highest point, and they must recover the key that unlocks Chief Llao’s Prison of the Lost before it is too late.
Crater Lake overflows with descriptive and highly structured prose. Discussion questions round out the book as a reading guide for groups or questions for an individual to ponder. Mr. Westover evokes pure creativity in this fantasy story of young adults working together for a perilous cause no matter the hazards they face. This is sure to please the adolescent reader looking for excitement and mystery.