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Chilling and page-turning, this compelling novel crackles with political intrigue, fast-paced action and unexpected twists.

The gripping sequel to the prize-winning thriller The Nature of Ash.

Ash McCarthy thought he had done enough by broadcasting his story to the world, exposing the corruption and lies of Prime Minister Chandler and his cronies. With his small band of friends and family on a remote campsite in the backcountry, he awaits the international community to answer his call for action. But the public response is not what he had hoped for and the fallout from his revelations will lead him and his companions into even more danger.

Can Ash withstand the new challenges that confront him? And what of Mikey – can he survive in this increasingly merciless world?

Chilling and page-turning, this compelling novel crackles with political intrigue, fast-paced action, unexpected twists and lots of heart.

‘Political, economic and ecological issues sizzle in the action, dialogue and reactions of the characters . . . a novel very hard to forget.’ — NZ Books on The Nature of Ash


This sequel to The Nature of Ash, reviewed earlier on this blog, is a powerful novel promoting peaceful means to solve political problems that have gone feral . . . A thrilling read for High school and Young adult readers. Mandy Hager writes this convincing story with aplomb. Once you start you won’t put it down.

Bobs Book Blog, bobsbooksnz.wordpress

Hager’s writing is masterful. She keeps the tension taut throughout, controlling the chaos of explosions, gunshots, kidnappings and more. She makes her moral points and she kicks the world’s arse for letting things get so bad. You can't help but watch in awe. Read this book. You’ll see what I mean. As you’ve probably got from all the mentions of violence above – probably best for 13+, unless you think your preteen can cope with the total disintegration of the status quo. (and lots of explosions).

Sarah Forster, The Sapling

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 28, 2018


    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    May 28, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ



It's gutting how much can change in just four weeks. One moment I’m Hero Whistle-blower; the next, State Enemy Number One. The pressure rises day on day, and Mikey senses we’re not telling him what’s going on. It’s true, but he’s already bad enough: confused, clingy and sobbing in his sleep. He’s throwing major tantrums at the slightest thing.


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Also by Mandy Hager

The Nature of Ash
Singing Home the Whale
Dear Vincent
The Crossing
Into the Wilderness


Turtles All the Way Down
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Anne Of Green Gables
The Hidden Oracle: The Trials Of Apollo (Book 1)
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
All The Bright Places
The Sun is also a Star
LGB Richard Scarry's The Gingerbread Man
Fragments Of The Lost
The Outsiders
Wonder (Film Tie-in)
Leah On The Offbeat
Thirteen Reasons Why
One Of Us Is Lying
I Am Sasha
I Am Number Four
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
The Lunar Chronicles