I first reviewed this rather ghoulish novel (if you like a bit of blood and guts, you'll probably like this one) anyway, I reviewed it on Multiply in 2008. For people who don't know the (soon to be defunct) Multiply site, there is a special slot for book reviews and you can award yellow stars out of five for what you think of the book. I gave this one four stars -it's a first novel and I was leaving room for improvement for her next novels (I hoped there would be many).
So I was rather startled when I came online the next evening to discover I'd had a cheeky visitor (dawnr) commenting on my post.
She wrote, "Hey Iri - I'd give it 5 stars, of course, but then I'm biased! So glad you enjoyed it. I guess first borns are always special but this story is very dear to me. There's a little bit of my heart in there. Anyway, glad you liked it. Regards Dawn
The Original Multiply Book Review
This is a first novel by Dawn Rotarangi. It was published in 2007.
The novel is set in and around Lake Taupo, which is in the North Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand, and explores the shadows between two worlds — the living and the dead, past and present, Maori and Pakeha, and what might happen, nay what does happen when some unthinking fool breaks a tapu.
When Billy Delaney (the unthinking fool) steals coins from a rock pool to buy a burger, he has no idea what he is about to unleash. But Billy has always been in trouble, and when his sister Saffron steps in to try and sort him out, trouble quickly overwhelms the Delaney family.
First Saffron’s niece suffers an horrific accident, leaving her balanced precariously between life and death. And then the Delaneys begin to die one by one. It’s left to a disbelieving Saffron helped by her unlikely ally Nick, a burnt-out war photographer to try to appease the wrath of long deceased Tama Ariki whose quest for utu echoes down the centuries.
This was the kind of story which kept me reading just to see what the heck was going to happen next. I really enjoyed it.