Three Twins at the Crater School by Chaz Brenchley – 20 Books of Summer 2022

Three Twins at tha Crater School by Chaz Brenchley is a strange combination of a girls’ boarding school book, science fiction and steam punk, but it all added up to an entertaining read for me. I have to say that the science fiction aspects are slight because although the setting is Mars, there’s absolutely no problem about actually living there, no mention of how they were able to breathe or anything like that. Although there’s no date mentioned, there are plenty of references to the Tsar and the Queen Empress and it’s the age of aetherships and steam. The Crater School is on the edge of a crater, there’s a lake nearby which is home to some dangerous Martian wildlife.

There has been a war between Britain and Russia, and Russia came off worst. Mars is a British colony, the furthest outpost of the Empire, much to the chagrin of the Russians. They would like it for themselves. Some of the Crater School girls are in part Russian, but they certainly aren’t on the side of the Tsar.

But at its heart this book is a faithful homage to the Chalet School books, with twins, visits to the san, threats of being sent to the headmistress, a goddess of a head girl, out of control middle school girls and brave girls willing to take on any danger. As a child the author had had to read not only his own choice of books, but those of his sister and brother too. As his sister was a fan of the Chalet School series he developed an appreciation of them too. The books are really all about friendship and decency.

Jack was sent a copy of this book to review, and you can read his much more detailed thoughts on it here.