From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—Ellie Spencer wakes to the realization that there are empty beer cans at the foot of her bed and a boy on her floor. Neither is acceptable at her boarding school on the South Island of New Zealand. She remembers her promise to Kevin to assist with fight choreography for a production of Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by beautiful Iris Tsang, who, to Ellie's extreme annoyance, has a crush on Kevin. Ellie literally runs into mysterious and gorgeous Mark Nolan, receiving an odd shock in the process. He later warns her not to go out alone at night but then somehow causes her to forget their conversation while remembering his warning. On her way to practice one evening, Ellie crosses paths with a woman who sends a chill down her spine, only to find that this person, Reka Gordon, has been cast as Titania. Reka seems to have a power over Kevin that arouses Ellie's suspicions. In the background of all this strange interpersonal activity, news reports continue to cover the activities of a serial killer, the Eyeslasher, on the North Island. From this point, the weirdness and excitement increase exponentially. Healey has done a wonderful job of introducing Maori legends into modern life while using the play and Ellie's classics work to provide Shakespearean and Greek stories to bracket what, for most readers, will be a new mythology. This story starts off fast and strong and just builds from there.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
See all Editorial Reviews