This is the second in the Everest Files series and is the story of Tashi and her family as the struggle to make a living in the high Himalayas. The story begins as 18-year-old Ryan is trying to fulfil the dream of climbing Everest and taking with him a memento of a Nepali friend. Unfortunately whilst at base camp they are all overtaken by a major earthquake and Ryan’s friend Klaus is buried by the onslaught of snow. It is Tashi with her knowledge and quick thinking that enables them to find and rescue Klaus. But Tashi is worried about her brother who was up at camp 6 and decides to climb up and try and find him. Ryan finds himself also joining this trek, hoping that he can reach the summit of the mountain. But the two young people find themselves being tracked by Chinese forces who want people off the mountain.
This is a well written story with a wealth of knowledge behind it. Matt Dickinson is a very experienced mountaineer and has reached the summit of Everest. His knowledge and understanding of the dangers and of that part of the world are evident in the way he creates the story. However the mountaineering aspect is only part of this story, the other half revolves around the lives of Tibetans in a country that was invaded by the Chinese in the late 1950s. We are given a picture of a whole way of life being dismantled and centuries of tradition being dismissed. Of course this raises so many questions for young people and I am sure many readers will want to find out more. This is one of those stories that keeps repeating itself in your mind as you go over the events and wonder where people get the strength to overcome some of these challenges. I am sure that this will be popular with boys and girls as there are such strong characters, truly excellent.