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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Book Description: This is an intriguing YA urban fantasy in the tradition of Holly Black and Wicked Lovely. Set in New Zealand, Ellie's main concerns at her boarding school are hanging out with her best friend Kevin, her crush on the mysterious Mark, and her paper deadline. That is, until a mysterious older woman seems to set her sights on Kevin, who is Maori, and has more than just romantic plans for him. In an effort to save him, Ellie is thrown into the world of Maori lore, and eventually finds herself in an all-out war with mist dwelling Maori fairy people called the patupaiarehe who need human lives to gain immortality.
The strong, fresh voice of the narrator will pull readers in, along with all the deliciously scary details: the serial killer who removes victim's eyes; the mysterious crazy bum who forces a Bible on Ellie telling her she needs it; handsome, mysterious Mark who steals the Bible from her and then casts a forgetting charm on her. All of this culminates in a unique, incredible adventure steeped with mythology, Maori fairies, monsters, betrayal, and an epic battle.

About the Author: Karen Healey is a New Zealander living in Australia. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. She's writing a dissertation on the fan culture of American superhero comics, but her real expertise lies in discerning which of the Birds of Prey is objectively the most awesome (it's a tie between Oracle and the Huntress).

Here's What I Think: I can always go for a YA sci-fi book and this was a great one! This book is an interesting mix of mythology and romance that keeps you turning the pages to find out just what will happen to Ellie next despite it's slightly slow beginning. Not really a knock to the book as it has become my understanding that books that take place in an "alternate" yet "parallel" universe (set in what we know as the real world with the addition of something totally unreal like fairies) tend to require a bit more stage setting so that you can understand what's happening. As with most books in this genre, there isn't anything hugely ground shaking or life changing in the story, its merely an entertaining bit of literature that I read and didn't feel that I wasted my precious reading time - which in my opinion is saying a lot!

*BTW I usually can find the same cover art as the one that I read, but for some reason I just can't find a digital image that matches mine, so if you are like me a often scan the bookstore shelves for the cover art more than the title - be aware, it might not look like the above image.

Disclaimer: Although I did receive this book for review purposes, I was in no other way compensated to publish this post.
If you are an author or publisher and would like an honest review of your title, please contact me at polsen11atcomcastdotnet

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