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Fast-paced, futuristic political thriller. Winner of LIANZA YA Fiction Award 2013.

Fast-paced, futuristic political thriller. Winner of LIANZA YA Fiction Award 2013.

Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he's revelling in the freedom of student hostel life.

But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies . . . so many lies.

As if this isn't bad enough, the whole country is imploding, as the world's two greatest super-powers start a fight that leaves New Zealand 'piggy-in-the-middle' of their deadly games. While trying to protect Mikey, along with strangers Travis and Jiao, his fight to uncover the truth turns into a nightmare race to save their lives and stop the destruction of all the principles he holds dear.

'The Nature of Ash' is a fast-paced thriller that also explores love and loss, assumptions and prejudices, truth and fiction, and the many faces of 'family’.

Winner of LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award 2013. Shortlisted for NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2013.

Reviews

Mandy Hager has set a new standard in thrilling, action-packed stories for NZ teens with her new book, The Nature of Ash, and I’ll say it can proudly stand alongside these international, best-selling dystopian thrillers. In my opinion, Ash is one of the most authentic male teen characters in New Zealand fiction. Mandy Hager is absolutely spot-on with Ash’s voice, his actions and decisions. Mandy Hager has created a story and characters that will stay with me long after I’ve put the book down. I’m sure that teenage boys in particular will relate to Ash and his struggle to do what’s right.

Zac Harding, Some of my best friends are books blog

Hager's recent dystopian Blood of the Lamb trilogy edged her close to the cross-over audience. This new novel straddles any remaining divide with utmost confidence... The novel is best described as a political thriller... and it is defintiely a page-turner, one of those novels that refuse to leave your hands. Political, economic and ecological issues sizzle in the action, dialogue and reactions of the characters. Just as often they lie in the chilling specific detail.... but the strength lies in Hager's attention to how her characters feel. The heart of the book is Ash's love for his less able brother. Mikey must be one of the most successful characters in recent local writing. he's funny, heart-rending and, in this bleak view of the future, strangely brings a smile to the reader, a lift of the heart. In the end, the novel challenges the reader to think about politics and family in equal measure... The Nature of Ash is a novel very hard to forget.

Barbara Else, New Zealand Books

The Nature of Ash is a phenomenal book, which deserves the highest praise for its wonderful characters, unique voices and almost-unbearable suspense. With a fast pace that has you racing to reach the end, the tension and thrills of Mandy Hager’s novel are sure to grip its readers. You will be stunned by the sharp twists; this chilling roller-coaster read will have you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend The Nature of Ash to older teens – adults, too – this is not a tale you will forget in a hurry.

Tierney, Booksellers NZ Blog

It is not often you would describe a YA novel as a blockbuster but in this case it is totally appropriate. From my Collins Internet-linked dictionary – Blockbuster – a very successful, effective of forceful person or thing. This 364 page, totally gripping Wellington-set thriller has been getting rave reviews around the country and having now read the story myself I am not at all surprised. Action-packed, fast paced stuff that I read it in two long sittings. Watch out for it in next year’s book awards.

Beattie’s Book Blog

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781869799038

    June 1, 2012

    RHNZ Children's

    368 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

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

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

  • Paperback

    9780143772422

    February 26, 2018

    Penguin

    368 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

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

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

  • EBook

    9780143773115

    May 28, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    368 pages

    Online retailers

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

Awards and Recognition

  • LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award
    2013
    Winner
    Young Adult Fiction
  • Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Award
    2013
    Awarded
    Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction
  • NZ Post Children's Book Awards
    2013
    Finalist
    Young Adult Fiction category

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