May 1, 2010

Guardian of the Dead (Karen Healey) Review

Book received from Around the World Tours

Publisher: Little Brown and Company (April 1, 2010)
Hardcover: 333 pages
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.

At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. Then everything changes: In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting. (Source)
GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD, by Karen Healey, was an epic adventure full of fantasy and Maori mythology that will leave you breathless. The infusing of mythology into fiction creates a one of a kind story that will make you want to learn more about this fascinating culture.

This book took me on a journey that I never expected. This book takes place in New Zealand (NZ) where the Maori culture is a big part of society. Ellie is especially knowledgeable in the Classics and mythology of NZ. Her intelligence is definitely a service to her in the spectacular and dangerous journey that she undertakes.

Ellie was just like any other teenage girl with self-esteem issues, mostly physically, but the threat of tragedy that weighs on her home she overcomes her doubts exceptionally. Her crush, Mark Nolan, was an amazing character to explore. He was the farthest away from anything Ellie thought of him, but he was also brave and unselfish. These two made an scintillating pair full of electricity and life.

I was wholly fascinated by the Maori customs and mythology that were unearthed in this book. I learned so much about their beliefs and how the people and creatures present in NZ came about according to these myths. The visuals of the mists and Ellie's sight were impressive. Healey created a fantasy world that leaped off the pages.

The cover of the book was both alluring and terrifying. There is no telling from this cover what the story is about but it leaves the idea that something ominous will result in the story.

Overall this book was a masterpiece. Combining magic, mythology, with a young love story makes it a huge hit. I cannot wait to see future books from this author.

Check out Karen Healey's website here
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