By Hugh Howey (Century, $29.99)
The sequel to last year’s best selling Wool, this is an intelligent and intriguing novel of a dystopian future. Howey has created a truly frightening story, one that asks big questions of our present selves. Shift approaches its subject matter from several different viewpoints: the politician who becomes embroiled in plans he has no control over; the worker who steps into a revolution he didn’t even know was coming; the young boy who grows up and lives utterly alone. A compelling read, as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
A Winter’s Day in 1939
By Melinda Szymanik (Scholastic, $18.50)
Melinda Szymanik is one of New Zealand’s most thoughtful young adult authors, and her latest book is based on the experiences of her father during World War II. The story takes us to eastern Poland in 1939, where Adam and his family are faced with the invading Soviet Army. In time they are forced to leave their home to travel to a labour camp in Soviet Russia and from there they endure a senseless journey that will eventually take them into modern day Iran.
Ghosts of Parihaka
By David Hair (Harper Collins, $24.99)
Book 5 in David Hair’s popular Aotearoa series for young adults, Ghosts of Parihaka’s central character is Matiu Douglas, an acolyte who can slip between two worlds – modern day New Zealand and the parallel country of Aotearoa, a ghost world that combines elements of our history and myth. When his best friend goes missing on a school trip to Parihaka, Matiu has to race to find and protect those he loves. The author does a great job of exploring how two separate cultural identities can be combined into one national identity through shared history and knowledge.
Published May 12 2013. Reproduced courtesy of Herald on Sunday.