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.
Guardian Of The Dead is a story filled with myths and legends from a rather book-wise unexplored country,New Zealand.
First and foremost I have to admit that after reading so many books set in the US, the change of scenery was exhilarating, to say the least!I loved every bit of Maori myth Healey added to the story, even though I have no idea which parts of it is the "real" myth and which parts were altered to fit the story and to be honest, I don't really care! Healey's writing pulled me in from the very beginning until the very end.
I loved the fact that I learned so may things I didn't know about New Zealand, a country I had always wanted to visit. From its fascinating mythology, presenting me with new takes one the creation of the world, which includes beings such as Sky-Father and Earth-Mother, patupaiarehe(a kind of Maori fairy) and Hine-nui-te-po, the guardian of the dead herself, to the beautiful and picturesque scenery.The idea of this book was so fresh and different and unique, like nothing I have ever read.Also, Healey's clever use of the mask, the story behind it and what it represents, was in my opinion the best aspect of the book.
The characters were also amazing.100% believable characters in a 100% fictional story.Ellie, the lead, is a 17 year old girl, with all the angsts and insecurities of girls her age.She is also brave and giving, willing to do anything for her friends.She is strong,determined and can take a fight any day, all the while maintaining her feminine side with a humorous awkwardness.She had a very good chemistry with Mark and I liked that she tried to keep her distance from him when she found out some things she didn't like, instead of falling straight into his arms.
The only teeny tiny problems I had with this book was that the Eyslasher story,which I'd like to know more of, was pretty much a dead end and the taniwha situation in the end.I really hope the latter won't be a problem if Healey decides to make it into a series.
All in all, Guardian Of The Dead is a very fresh,original and intriguing story, set in an beautiful country, with amazing characters.What's not to love? Anyone who is even remotely into mythology of any kind, should definitely read this!
DISCLAIMER : This book came from International Book Tours.