Leah Jackson - in detention. Then armed Year 9s burst in, shooting. She escapes, just. But the new Lock Down system for keeping intruders out is now locking everyone in. She takes to the ceilings and air vents with another student, Anton, and manages to use her mobile to call out to the world.
First: survive the gang - the so-called 'Eternal Knights'.
Second: rescue other kids taken hostage, and one urgently needing medical help.
Outside, parents gather, the army want intelligence, television cameras roll, psychologists give opinions, sociologists rationalize, doctors advise - and they all want a piece of Leah. Soon her phone battery is running out; the SAS want her to reconnoiter the hostage area ... But she is guarding a terrifying conviction. Her brother, Connor, is at the center of this horror. Is he with the Eternal Knights or just a pawn?
She remembers. All those times Connor reached out for help ... If she'd listened, voiced her fears about him earlier, would things be different now? Should she give up her brother?
With only Anton for company, surviving by wits alone, Leah wrestles with the terrible choices ...
Published: 7th March 2013
Goodreads : Click here
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Review: 8 out of 10
What I loved about this story...
The topic covered in this story is relatively new to me. I have read stories in new papers etc but, of course, these have always been from the viewpoint of someone outside looking in. In this story, we are following the story of Leah, who is inside the school, under lock down so not being able to get out of the school, and going through everything from the 'inside'. I did find some of the content uncomfortable to read but I felt as thought that was part of the story and if it didn't shock me I would be very surprised. There were definitely some parts that shocked me.
A common theme with books I have been reading at the moment, the best part of this story was the character development. There's Leah who I found to be a very strong character, even at the beginning and definitely throughout the rest of the story.
What I was not fond of with this story...
At 303 pages with very large font, it was quite an 'easy' read and I would have wished the story to have gone on longer and expanded more on the story and I would have loved to have known a little more back story of some of the characters.
I won't spoil the ending here but I did feel the ending could have been different. I really was not expecting what happened and would have loved to have something else happen there.
A very eye opening story that definitely kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the story, shocking in places and definitely deals with some very heavy adult themed contents throughout this story that may not be suited for younger readers.