Karen Healey is the author of the Aurealis winner and William C. Morris Debut Award finalist Guardian of the Dead, The Shattering, and When We Wake. She technically lives in New Zealand, but actually lives on the internet. You can find her at karenhealey.com.
Perfection, in horror, is always a wicked and unnerving thing, and the tourist town of Summerton in New Zealand is no different. It’s a thriving paradise on earth that no-one wants to leave--what the locals call ‘the Summerton effect’. But beneath its dazzling surface lies a tragic secret. Every winter, without warning, a teenage boy commits suicide. Three friends, haunted by their elder brothers’ inexplicable deaths, believe a serial killer lives among them and set about uncovering the killer’s identity. But in exploring the town’s relationships between the living and the dead, they discover Summerton’s secrets run deeper, and darker, than the natural world allows. In what is ostensibly The Wicker Man for teens, Karen Healey blends ancient myths and modern anxieties to deliver a healing narrative about coping with loss. And as with her debut novel Guardian of the Dead, it’s an approach that feels both meaningful and relevant, allowing her to build a disquieting sense of menace while exploring the all-too-real issue of teenage depression--and, in particular, the high rate of male suicide. It’s a fresh and dynamic twist on an old tale that will likely cement Healey as one of the best emerging YA writers of our time. Meredith Tate is a freelance proofreader, editor and reviewer who has worked for a children’s publisher
Gr 8 Up-After her brother, Jake, commits suicide, 17-year-old Keri has a hard time coming to terms with his death. Jenna, a friend from Keri's past, and Sione Felice, Janna's tourist friend, come to her with a theory that both their older brothers and Jake were actually murdered. As they investigate the theory, secrets, a conspiracy involving trusted and well-known people in their New Zealand community, and dark magic make the trio realize that time is running out to save another boy's life. With no one to trust and danger lurking around every corner, the trio sets out to solve the mystery in Karen Healey's novel (Little, Brown, 2011). The well-developed plot and the characters are brought to life through Saskia Maarleveld's narration. Although the voices sound similar, her use of unique intonations and narrative styles for each character make it fairly easy to tell them apart. Her narrative speed and transitions hold listeners' interest and cue plot twists and suspenseful moments. Fans of paranormal mysteries and witches will enjoy this audiobook.-Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.