Going to Ground

Going to Ground

"Going to Ground" is the third in the Shapeshifter series of young adult novels by Ali Sparkes. It was first published in May 2007.

Plot summary

The book starts with Dax in his bed. After a rude awakening involving a practical joke from his sister, Dax gets up and reviews his situation. It has been several weeks since the events in "Running the Risk" and he and the other COLAs are on their summer holidays while the government tries to find a new location to keep COLA club (after the last one was destroyed) and Dax is going a bit stir-crazy stuck in his room. He and his friends are banned from using their powers but he decides to break the rules and shifts to a peregrine falcon before flying out his bedroom window. After mulling over whether to try to hunt some pigeons, he decides to shift into a red fox and catches a rabbit to eat (because flying uses up a lot of energy). He putters around a bit, relishing the feeling, before reluctantly returning home.

On the way he spots his surveillance team, Mike and Dave (the government are keeping an eye on them, but the COLAs are not supposed to know), and decides to fly over and drop a bag of Maltesers after Dave wishes he had some. After he gets back home he gets a call from Lisa Hardman, who tells him he needs to go meet her. Dax agrees. In the night there is a massive power cut across three countries; apparently it had something to do with an electric pylon. Dax sneaks out in the morning to go see Lisa; unfortunately Alice spots him shifting. When he gets to Lisa's house she explains that something bad is going to happen to their friend Gideon, that she's had premonitions of something big and metal, crunching and twisting and Gideon trapped in a circle of blue lights. She is sure that they shouldn't call Owen. Lisa asks Dax to help her rescue Gideon. Dax agrees, and after an impressive takeoff display he makes his way back.

Owen is waiting for him and he is not happy. Owen angrily asks Dax why and where he went. Dax tries to explain but he doesn't think Owen is buying it. Owen calms down and pleads with Dax not to go out again for his own safety.Dax feels bad about lying but nevertheless goes ahead with the plan. He starts stocking up with food until when his old school friend, Clive, turns up. Clive is one of the few non-COLA's who knows about Dax's shapeshifting powers. Dax hints to Clive about his mission but doesn't say anything. After Clive goes home, Dax flies to Gideons house and explains to Gideon that he's in danger. They then discuss what to do. Gideon manages to convince his dad to go to the shopping centre. Gideon hides Dax in his back pack and the two hide in the toilet and swap clothes to which Dax takes Gideon's place before making a run from the toilets (stopping briefly to give Gideon's dad a note) he's closely followed by Gideon's stalker. Dax shakes him off by jumping off a bacony (shifting to falcon halfway down). He then joins up with Lisa and Gideon in Evan's car, and they drive off. Lisa suddenly gets another message and realises they have to go save Mia. The three then sneak into the flat where Mia lives.

When they arrive at the block of flats where mia lives, three youths deny them access, saying they need the password. Dax does his 'alien thing'. (Where he thinks falcon but does not shift and his eyes change to falcon mode.) Their leader picks up a broom which Gideon use his powers to pull out of his hands and rotat with no support in the air. The three youths run away at this. They then head up to Mia's flat. Mia wouldn't let them in so Dax has to fly into her flat and let everyone else in. Mia is in a terrible state because she has been absorbing her father's hangovers. When he finds out he willingly lets them look after her.

As they exit the block of flats Evan asks them to hurry up as the three youths had run away to get back up. This is proved as when they get to the car, they are pelted with metal bars, stones, and bricks. They manage to get away unharmed. As they start towards Bristol Lisa explains about them having to leave and why.

At the new location of Cola club, they are surprised to find that only ten students have returned. Mrs. Sartre explains that only these ten regained their powers following Catherine's attempts to steal them. Gideon tells them that there is a true eleven and that luke is not dead. Dax and gideon begin making a tree house at the end and have something to drink while far away over the ocean Catherine waits and lifts up her hand.

External links

* [http://www.alisparkes.com/ Ali Sparkes' official website]

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