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Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Guardian of the DeadEllie Spencer is just another ordinary teen at her New Zealand boarding school—or so she thinks. But her easy days of hanging out with friends (okay, friend) and doing homework become a thing of the past when she crashes headfirst into a world of what should be a fiction. Ellie’s excitement over interacting with her crust turns to confusion when he turns out to be not who—or what—she expected. Then Ellie’s best friend Kevin starts acting strangely about a mysterious and possibly sinister new cast member of the play he’s working on. Something weird is afoot, and though Ellie wants answers, they will cost her because there’s a whole new playing field now. And whether Ellie knows it or not, she’s now a part of an ancient and deadly battle of epic proportions.

I was very impressed by debut author Healey’s fantastic Guardian of the Dead. It is so much more creative, complex, and fascinating than I ever would’ve thought. The reader starts off just as clueless as protagonist Ellie regarding a secret world that is mostly revealed by the end of the book. Every layer that is peeled away revealing yet another secret makes this novel so intriguing to read. The unique paranormal element incorporated into this story and the unpredictable make the story so enjoyable. One of the defining elements of this novel is the inclusion of Māori myths. Healey literally brings them to life, and this is wonderfully done. I don’t think I can reiterate enough how much I liked this wholly original novel. It has everything from believable characters and mystical monsters to romance and tragedy. The selling point is that all of this done well and in a way that meshes easily with the rest of the story.

Guardian of the Dead is sure to be enjoyed by those who liked the A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy by Libba Bray, The Named trilogy by Marianne Curley, and the Midnighters trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. I greatly look forward to more from talented new author Healey.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher Little, Brown

1 munch(es) :

Serena said...

This sounds like a book I should keep my eyes peeled for. Thanks for the review.

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