Summer camp turns deadly: fluffy, foaming, frenzied and deadly.
Heath Lambert is settling in at coed Camp Harmony. He’s made some friends, and with the help of new acquaintance Will, Heath avoids having to spend the summer running errands for the camp bully. Normal camp routines of horseback riding and postcard writing come to a screeching halt when the small (and not so small) woodland creatures suddenly all turn rabid. When they bite a human, purple lines spread over the victim, and they die instantly. Heath, Will and several others escape to the nearby river, since exposure to water seems to kill the animals on contact. The group decides the disease must be an airborne form of rabies, given the animals’ symptoms. They travel down the river in hopes of reaching the nearest town, but the animals follow along on the riverbank, keeping the campers in sight. Can Heath and his friends survive the crazed animal attack? Lettrick’s middle-grade debut is most successful during the many action scenes and in the slow reveal of certain facts about the characters. That it takes the old wives’ tale that rabid animals are afraid of water and runs with it is acceptable, but the premise disintegrates at the end as the author forces events to reach his desired end. The character deaths are predictable, and the end, too tidy.
Never achieves the scare it intends. (Horror. 9-12)