Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Ghosts Of Parihaka Ghosts Of Parihaka
by David Hair

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Ghosts of Parihaka is the fifth book in David Hair’s Aotearoa series, or more correctly book two of the second cycle of that series, and amply shows Mr Hair’s growing skill and confidence as an author.

The second cycle (another trilogy) is darker and meatier than the first; and not surprisingly is aimed at an older audience than the first. In this cycle Matiu Douglas, the hero of the cycles, has to deal with the reality of the death and loss of people known to him. He also has to become a more active participant in the machinations of the adepts, tohunga and demigods – some friends some foes, all dangerous – arrayed around him. And during the course of these adventures stay grounded in his home life.

Ghosts of Parihaka sees Mat searching the mythic realm of Aotearoa at Parihaka as one of his friends has been abducted there and is bound for forced labour in Dunedin. Along with the villainy to be confounded and the friendship bonds being strengthened is a new item in the mix: a jealous demigoddess has her amorous eye on Mat, with terrifying effect. This last is something Mat has the greatest difficulty acknowledging and, once acknowledged, knowing how to deal with – after all at the age of seventeen he is not one of life’s Lotharios.

I found Ghosts of Parihaka to be a excellent sequel to Justice and Utu, book four in the series, and actually rate it higher as a read-worthy book. Unusual for the middle book in a trilogy plot significant development happened. I am looking forward to book six (title unknown) to find out how all the hanging circles will be squared.

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