Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Guardian of the DeadGuardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars (10/10)
Read: 17-11-10 to 21-11-10

Oh, I really liked this. I've had it sitting on my TBR shelf for months, and now I wish I'd started it sooner.

It was great to find a New Zealand book with both a wonderfully accessible heroine and Maori myth that wove so seamlessly into a contemporary narrative. I also thought that Healy did a wonderful job in explaining the mythology (most of which I knew at least to some small degree) to the reader without belabouring the point for those who already knew what she was talking about.

I haven't read much in the way of modern versions of my own homeland's mythology that isn't either historical or a retelling. I thought this was beautifully done and it's so great to have a wonderful New Zealand book to share with friends both locally and overseas. I have a good gift on my hands here.

I loved Ellie. She was wonderfully easy to like I think as much for her flaws as for her strengths. She's complex and very relatable and I would love to see her in another book one day. Kevin and Mark were also great characters, if less rounded than Ellie and I'd love to learn more about them too.

I'm not going to say much about the ending, because I don't want to spoil it, but I thought it was just perfect, which surprised me a little, as it wasn't at all what you might expect. In fact, it was the end that pushed my rating up from a 9 to a 10, because it just rounded off this wonderful, unique, unexpected book perfectly.

I'll be keeping my eyes of for Karen Healey's next book, also set in New Zealand and called The Shattering which is due for publication in September 2011.

Go out and find a copy of Guardian of the Dead and read it. I loved it and I hope you will too.

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orannia said...

Lovely review Kerry!

Susan said...

I need to find this! It sounds really good, Kerry. thanks for reviewing it for us.

Kerry said...

Susan, I highly recommend it. It has been released in the US as a hardcover with a different cover. Hopefully that means you can find it in Canada without too much trouble. I'm now looking forward to her next book, also set in New Zealand, which is out next year I think.