From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-Deliciously creepy and suspenseful, this sequel to Interstellar Pig (Puffin, 1995) will thrill science-fiction fans. In the first book, Barney joined neighbors in an oddly absorbing board game, only to find that it was real, that the other players were aliens, and that the fate of Earth lay in the balance. This book, set the next summer, finds the 16-year-old still playing Interstellar Pig with his friends Katie and Matt, but just as a simple board game. Or so he thinks, until Julian, a mysterious new player, turns out to be a disgusting, parasitic alien who kidnaps him and whisks him off to the planet J'koot. Matt, actually a nasty wasplike alien, grabs Katie and follows them. Once they arrive on the planet, the two teens are snatched by intelligent crablike creatures that imprison them in luxurious rooms and serve them heaping plates of delicious food. With dawning horror, the two humans realize they're being fattened up for the slaughter. Complicating matters is the manipulative parasite lodged in Barney's brain. The middle section, in which an imprisoned Barney begins to lose hope, does drag at times, but the teens' hazardous escape attempt injects renewed energy into the plot. Most readers will enjoy the high gross-out factor, especially the descriptions of Julian's home in the intestine of a large reptile and a scene in which Barney and Katie witness two other teens about to be roasted alive. Fans of the first book may enjoy this title more than newcomers will, but it can stand alone. This is a sometimes dark, sometimes silly, always entertaining read with a few twisty surprises thrown in at the end.Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7-10. Sleator has returned with a sequel to Interstellar Pig
(1984) that is equally clever and engrossing, a puzzle that incorporates mysterious science fiction with a bit of health education and just plain suspenseful fun. Barney is back, this time inhabited by parasite Madame Gondii and forced to associate with his alien "friends" and a new round of bizarre acquaintances, including a parasitic worm hosted within a dinosaur and a huge wasp armed with her terrifying ovipositor. At least he has human companionship in his friend Katie, who unwillingly joins him on a dangerous search for Piggy on the planet J'koot, where the crab inhabitants consider humans the perfect gourmet treat. The years have not diminished the imaginative nether world of the game-playing teens or the aliens determined to destroy earth, all for a chance to capture the fickle Piggy. While readers will still probably want to read Interstellar Pig
first, this sequel can stand on its own. Let's hope we won't have to wait quite so long for another installment. Frances BradburnCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved