Guardian of the Dead, by Karen Healey (Little, Brown and Co, 2010)

When Ellie Spencer agrees to teach stage combat for a local university production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she’s inadvertently drawn into a bizarre series of events involving a secretive race of deadly mythological beings out to reclaim their full power and immortality. To thwart their apocalyptic schemes, she’ll have to embrace her own hidden powers, place her trust in some unlikely allies, and delve into a world she never knew existed. Set in New Zealand and drawing heavily from Maori myth for inspiration, this is a brilliantly-executed story, full of powerful imagery, fascinating characters, and memorable moments. Easily one of the best YA’s I’ve read this so far this year.

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