Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Phanton Of Terawhiti Phantom Of Terawhiti
by Des Hunt

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Phantom of Terawhiti is the latest young adult novel by Des Hunt, and it is pleasure to read. With at least fifteen novels under his belt Mr Hunt has mastered the art of telling a story with believable characters and plot.

Phantom of Terawhiti tells the story of Zac and Jess’s discovery of and search for a pet lost off a shipwrecked yacht along Wellington’s Terawhiti coast (west of Wellington and facing Cook Strait proper). Zac has been transplanted to a farm cottage in rural Wellington with his father due to a white collar crime committed by Zac’s father’s twin brother. To combat the boredom Zac explores the farm and discovers a very recent shipwreck and sights a fugitive animal from the wreck.

In the course of trying to find the animal Zac meets and is befriended by Jess; has to save the pet from zealous pig hunters and stay clear of thugs intent on ransoming the pet. Occasional meetings with members of the public upset by Zac’s uncle’s crime don’t help.

Mr Hunt has written a nicely paced story which is neither far fetched nor riddled with coincidence and lucky chance. I enjoyed the way small snippets of less well known pieces of Wellington’s early history were introduced into the story as casual backdrop.

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