Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guardian of the Dead

Author: Karen Healey
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal
Copy provided by: Traveling ARC Tours
Summary (via 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.

Why I read this: C'mon, look at that cover! It looks scary good! Also, it's a debut novel - BONUS! :)

Plot: Ellie bumps into her crush, a mysterious boy who is totally smoking hot, but an outcast at her school and sparks fly - but not the nice romantic kind. It wouldn't matter at all - she keeps forgetting about the encounter - but then her best guy friend Kevin becomes completely entranced by a beautiful college girl that shows up out of nowhere. Now, that may seem normal to you, but Kevin just admitted he pretty much is asexual, he feels nothing for either sex in the crush, sexual, or romantic sense. There's something strange about the girl and Ellie is determined to find out what it is. The only problem is, Ellie doesn't know how dangerous that can be.

This book is filled with Maori mythology, action driven plot-lines and a subtle romantic interest. I'm definitely looking forward to more from this author.

Characters:Ellie is a bit overweight, which is kind of nice to see now and then. Other than that, she's sort of anti-social and likes the sauce probably a little too much for someone her age. I found her a bit hard to like, but that is just me. On the other hand, the mysterious boy was so intriguing and I really really liked him, a lot. :-D

Relatability: It was hard to connect to the main character. For once, the other characters really outshone a main character, which was interesting. I liked learning about a new mythology and definitely hope there is more to come!

Cover Commentary: Love it. It's creepy yet lovely.

Rating: 4/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.


  1. This is one have on my TBR list - it looks fantastic.

    Nice review!

  2. That cover is so creepy, I had to keep it face down at night. Great review! I felt the same about Ellie, but my complaint is, well, that she always complained... I'll still probably read more if it becomes a series.

  3. Agreed with Adriana.The cover is creepy!But i read a lot of excellent reviews on this one ;p

  4. I have this on the TBR shelf waiting for me to get to. Love creepy so think I might just move it up a little.

  5. "...
    likes the sauce probably a little too much for someone her age."

    Oh, Kristen, you crack me up!

    I've had this on my TBR pile for way too long, so hopefully I'll to it soon!

  6. I've been wanting to read this one. I'm glad you liked it.

  7. The maori mythology is intriguing to see in a book as well as an asexual character- I think I'm hooked.
    It is reassuring to know you liked it, very good review.


  8. Great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have been wanting to pick this one up.

  9. Awesome review. The first part of Guardian of the Dead revolves around places I see pretty much every day so it was weird for me to read it.

  10. I haven't read this one, but the cover kind of creeps me out.

  11. I haven't read it but it sounds good thanks for the review!

  12. I have to buy this one. Perhaps tomorrow when I go book hunting :D LOL. It sounds really intriguing though Australia has a different cover. It's kind of green and black and yellowish (SO literate here! Hahaha)

  13. This book is definitely on my TBR list, I've heard lots of great things about it. Your review definitely makes me want to read it sooner. Thanks!

  14. I do like the creepiness of this cover, yet it makes me want to read it all the more. Great review!

  15. I've been looking forward to this one since I first spotted it, I'm fascinated by the Māori people and their culture. Thanks for the great review.

  16. I hope I'm not the only one who doesn't think that the cover is not creepy *lol* But I love that the plot of this book sounds really good and that it is set in New Zealand! That is, to me, the major sauce for this book. Yummy!

  17. the cover of this book is really creepy


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