The Nature of Ash by NZ author Mandy Hager is a thrilling read; a finalist in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in the Young Adult category. It tells the story of Ash McCarthy, who is enjoying living in a student hostel. When the police make a visit to the hostel, his life is changed forever. His father has been killed by a bomb that destroyed his workplace.
Ash returns home to Wellington, to his little brother Mikey who has Downs Syndrome. Still trying to understand what has happened, Ash stumbles on several threat letters and a hint that his long-dead mother may in fact be alive. While his world is turning upside-down, the outside world is too; New Zealand is on the brink of war.
Suddenly no-one can be trusted- Ash finds himself fighting to protect the lives of Mikey, himself, and friends Jiao and Travis. Drowning in mystery and lies, Ash must learn the truth, or lose everything. As the urgency of their escape grows, the stakes become higher and higher. Danger laces their mission to survive- and the enemy could be anyone…
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 Hagers’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.
Reviewed by Tierney.
The Nature of Ash
by Mandy Hager
Published by Random House