Review: The Buried Ark: The Change by James Bradley

Erich Mayer

For young adventure fans, Bradley offers plenty of exciting action.
Review: The Buried Ark: The Change by James Bradley

James Bradley's The Buried Ark: The Change.

This is the second book in a trilogy by James Bradley, the first, The Silent Invasion, was published in March 2017. Callie, the heroine of the first novel, continues her adventures in this one and persists with her fight against the aliens – known as ‘the Change’ – that are overrunning the world.

Some books in a series can be read independently and this applies to The Buried Ark, but the reader might find there is some benefit in having read the earlier book.

Callie is about the same age as the young readership at which this science fiction adventure novel is aimed. She is indomitable, courageous, undaunted  and foolhardy. That she survives the many obstacles in her way is not only due to these qualities but due to an extraordinary amount of luck. There is no doubt that good fortune has played a major role in the success of many a high-flier but in Callie's case, Bradley lays it on a bit thick.

For lovers of science fiction, this book offers an interesting alien entity that acts like a virus and infects human beings, making them part of a large collective while remaining individuals. It can also spread to other forms of life, including plants. In this way it changes everything it infects and makes it part of itself in ways not yet fully revealed in the novel.

For young adventure fans, Bradley offers plenty of exciting action, hair’s-breadth escapes and unexpected twists and turns leading to a thrilling climax which presumably leads to the beginning of the final book of this trilogy. To write too much about this ending risks this review becoming a spoiler, a sin to be avoided at all costs. On the other hand readers are entitled to expect a book to be reasonably self-contained; unfortunately, that is not the case in this instance.

As mentioned in the review of The Silent Invasion, there are many books aimed at young adults that appeal to older people, not least the Harry Potter stories or science fiction novels such as A Wrinkle in Time, which are read and loved by many older adults. But The Buried Ark is unlikely to become a member of this group.

Rating: 2 ½ ★★☆

The Buried Ark: The Change
Trilogy 2

By James Bradley
ISBN: 9781743549902
Format: Paperback
Pub Date: 29/05/2018
Category: Teenage & Young Adult Fiction / Young Adult
Imprint: Pan Australia
Pages: 272
Price: $14.99

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Erich Mayer is a retired company director and former organic walnut farmer. He now edits the blog