"The Heir of Night" (the novel in Helen's Wall of Night series) has made the final shortlist for the international Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer.
In fact, it's the only Southern Hemisphere work to do so in either of the two book categories ('Legend' & 'Morningstar'.)
But although the original longlist is curated, both the final shortlist and eventual winner are decided by public vote--and the final round of voting to determine the Morningstar winner is now in full swing. (Closes 31 May.)
So New Zealanders we need to vote for The Heir of Night to win. :-)
All you have to do to vote now is click Here
Then click again in the circle immediately above "The Heir of Night -- Helen Lowe"
And by way of added incentive, no book by a woman--or from south of the equator for that matter--has yet won in either the Legend or Morningstar category. So your support may well make a difference!
Snakes & Ladders by Mary-Anne Scott Scholastic NZ
Finn is 16, lives in Waimea with his mum, has a sort-of girlfriend (Alison) and some good mates. When his father Duggie (‘Druggie’ as the locals call him), is suddenly in trouble with the police under a hit and run/manslaughter charge, Finn decides to take up his grandmother’s offer of tuition at a boarding school in Auckland.
The new school is hard to get used to with its high standards, rich kids and a student with a grudge. He makes new mates and Andy and Hobsie help him settle in. Finn (although a bit rusty), plays the clarinet and he soon meets the lovely Mia in the symphonic band. When Mia invites him to the school ball, Finn thinks he’s made, but it’s the beginning of his new life unravelling. When the illegal after ball party goes tragically wrong, it forces Finn to make a decision that will change his life.
There has been a lot of interest in Mary-Anne Scott’s first novel, with the topic of the after ball party as a key part of the story. But it is only a part of it. At first I didn’t warm to Finn as a character but throughout the novel, I got to know him as he dealt with his indecision about Alison and Mia, his ongoing battle with a blackmailing bully and his reaction to the after ball party. He was a strong, realistic, kiwi teen, and I believe boys in particular will relate to him.
ISBN – 978 1775430407 RRP $21.00 Pb
Reviewed by Adele Broadbent
High Speed by D.C. Grant, published by Pear Jam Books NZ
Jason is waiting for his parents to come home from a party, but when a police officer arrives instead, Jason and his Gran know something awful has happened. His parents have been in a terrible car crash. But when he discovers it was no accident and the brake lines were cut on his dad’s car, Jason world is reeling. How can this be happening? Then his house is completely trashed. Who did it? Were they looking for something? But what?
While he waits for his father to emerge from a coma, Jason is quickly led into a web of drugs, deceit, and confusion as to what his father was delving into and he is not sure who to trust.
Jason’s plight hooks the reader early and the cleverly woven plot leads into action packed intrigue of who is on which side of the law. This is the first title in the ‘Catch Jason Shaw’ series which is bound to have an avid following for thriller lovers over 11.ISBN – 978 1927182352 Age Group - 11+
Reviewed by Adele Broadbent