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Guardian of the dead
Book
2010
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Seventeen-year-old Ellie is spending a year at a New Zealand school while her parents vacation. Making friends gets easier when she puts her tae kwon do training to use by choreographing the fight scenes in a local college production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. But there's something she doesn't like about the gorgeous actress Reka maybe it's the fact that her pupils disappear. On the other hand, there's something she does like about hunky Mark despite his tendency to hypnotize her. Both, it turns out, are locked in a mystical battle that is steeped in ancient Maori lore. Healey's prose is a notch above others writing in this genre, and her take on Ellie's human relationships, especially with frenemy Iris and buddy Kevin is finely drawn. The supernatural story, however, never quite clicks. Still, the Maori legends that provide the basis for the plot (and which are further explained in an afterword) are a breath of fresh air after all the vampires, demons, and fairies out there.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Ellie is in her final year at a New Zealand boarding school, living the typical teen's life: classes, friends, a black belt in tae kwon do and a crush on an adorable yet enigmatic boy named Mark. The big news locally revolves around the Eyeslasher murders, a series of killings in which the murderer removes his victims' eyes. After Ellie has a run-in with a woman who nearly turns Ellie into a tree, Mark reveals his true nature to Ellie. He is part patupaiarehe, the Maori equivalent of fairies, and some evil patupaiarehe are behind the Eyeslasher murders and on a quest for immortality. Though not a supernatural creature herself, Ellie has some inherited magical talent related to the patupaiarehe. Debut novelist Healey pulls readers in immediately with Ellie's funny, occasionally profane and often self-deprecating voice. The smart, strong protagonist is supported by a cast of equally intelligent peers. Fast-paced adventure and an unfamiliar, frightening enemy set a new scene for teen urban fantasy. (Urban fantasy. YA)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
"You're Ellie Spencer."<br> <br> I opened my mouth, just as he added, "And your eyes are opening."<br> <br> Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.<br> <br> But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie's circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, "You need it. It will save your soul." Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.<br>
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