Book review: Steel Pelicans by Des Hunt

Steel Pelicans is available in bookstores now.

I read Des Hunt’s new book in a day. Then I re-read it, just to experience the action and suspense again. I enjoy that Des Hunt’s writing is always set in familiar New Zealand settings.

Steel Pelicans was written in three parts, the first part set in Wollongong, Australia, the other two in Manukau and Port Waikato.

The main character’s name is Pelly. Pelly narrates the story, and expresses his feelings and thoughts of the many interesting events that take place throughout the book. Pelly lives in Australia, and tries to be a best friend, but what do you do when your friend is obsessed with making illegal explosives?

His parents decide to move to New Zealand, and so the poor boy is surrounded by strangers who make fun of his accent, miles away from his best friend. Of course, the story doesn’t end there.

He meets many new people, and runs into deep trouble along the way. Things get worse when his friend comes over to New Zealand, bringing danger and fireworks back with him.

Will things end in disaster?

Another thing I like is that the description is seemingly simple, yet it creates such vivid images. When Pelly and his new friend Afi meet shy, troubled Bee outside a chip shop, I could picture her picking at the old wooden tabletop, smell the ocean in the air and feel the goosebumps on my arms due to the cold evening breeze.

My favourite part was when Pelly climbed the pine tree to put the plastic snowman on top. Why was he putting a snowman on a tree? Grab the book and find out!

I recommend Steel Pelicans to both boys and girls aged from 10 to 14. I rate it highly because of the spectacular imagery and gripping climax.

Des Hunt also wrote Frog Whistle Mine and Cry of the Taniwha, which are two more fantastic reads.

By Tierney Reardon, age 12. Tierney also reviews for the Christchurch Kids Blog.

Steel Pelicans
by Des Hunt
Published by HarperCollins
ISBN 9781869509538