Because who can afford books in this economy?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Title: Guardian of the Dead
Author: Karen Healey
Published: April 2010
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, betrayal, and war.

Well, I certainly enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Going into this I knew next to nothing about Maori culture or mythology, so I was learning throughout the entire book. I really enjoyed that, everything was fresh and new and I didn't feel like I was reading the same plot line that I've read five times before.

I thought that Ellie was a very different narrator. I'm not really sure why, she just stands out to me. I loved the other characters, they all had their own personalities and I could relate to all of them. I even shed a tear or two near the end where something rather upsetting happened to one of my favorite characters.

I thought that this book moved along at a steady pace, and I didn't feel like it dragged too much. There were a few parts where I was very confused as to what exactly was happening, especially at the end, but I understood enough that it wasn't much of a problem. The fantastical elements of the book are pretty straightforward, but they are very different and I had to get used to a few things during it.

I thought that this novel was very original, and I enjoyed learning about a new culture while being swept along in a fast paced story full of twists and turns.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Originality: 10/10
Plot: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50 B
Title/Cover: I love the cover, it's absolutely perfect. The title...not so much. Though the Guardian of the Dead does have a large role at the end, it's in no way central to the story and is actually rather misleading.


  1. This book caught my attention when I first heard about it. And that cover creeps me out! But I like it.


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