Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Guardian of the Dead.

Karen Healey
Hardcover, 352 pages
Little Brown & Company
April 01, 2010


"In less than a day I had been harassed, enchanted, shouted at, cried on, and clawed. I’d been cold, scared, dirty, exhausted, hungry, and miserable. And up until now, I’d been mildly impressed with my ability to cope."

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. (Barns&Noble)

*************

I must say, with this being Healeys debut novel she did a wonderful job.

Guardian of the dead is set in New Zealand where the culture is rich and danger is always steps away.
I really got lost in the world Healey created. She talks of Fairies and Mythological worlds. Battles from centuries ago have been brought to this day and age and mixed in with the life of a typical teenage world.

I really love Ellie. She is not your typical main character. She is smart, sassy and really has low self esteem which oddly enough makes her very likable. She sees her self as a "chubby" girl who is unlikeable by her peers. i think that thought the book she learns to love her self more. Ellie loves all things mythological so when she is unwillingly thrown into the Maori world she really taken back. Who would have thought it was all real, certainly not Ellie.

The Guardian of the dead was a fast pace book that had me laughing at its dark humor, learning about the New Zealand Culture and hoping for a sequel. There was almost two different types of stories rolled into one. First you have the struggles of a teenage girl trying to find her self and make the best of her life, dealing with best friend Kevin and all his problems, her crush on dark and mysterious Mark and trying to help the drama club with a girl she can't stand. Then you have the Maori world, filled with ascent fairies and a battle with their immortality. I really loved the way Ellie had to deal with so much and she still kept her head. she was really a strong character.

The Maori mythology was a little tough to keep up with at times. Some of the names and stories were very long and somewhat hard to understand. Only when I finished the book did I come top realize there was a section in the back for definitions, so check that before you read...It will help.

Overall Healeys Guardian of the Dead was a great read that I finished in two sittings. It left me wanting more. I was fascinated with the myths and culture of New Zealand. I say, Read this book and you will love it too. Guardian of the Dead rates around a 4+ Hoot from me! Great read!

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