Steel Pelicans is a classic Des Hunt story with all the adventure, mystery and danger that make his stories so good. His stories are usually set just in New Zealand but this story starts in Australia as that’s where the two main characters are from. One thing I like about his stories is that they have a real Kiwi feel about them and they’re set in different parts of the country, from the Coromandel to the West Coast to Port Waikato. He always adds an ecological message into the story and this time it’s about fishing and Paradise Ducks. I always finish his books knowing that I’ve read a great story and learnt a little bit about New Zealand wildlife at the same time.
I really liked the characters of Pete (or Pelly) and Dean. They’re almost complete opposites but somehow are still best mates. I liked how Des Hunt added a second friend into the mix because it created some conflict between the three boys. Des Hunt also really knows how to write scumbag villains, whether they’re gang members or drug dealers, and you can imagine that they’re the sort of people who might live in your neighbourhood. If you’re a fan of Des Hunt’s books you’ll love Steel Pelicans, but if you haven’t read any of his books then this one is a great one to start with.
Review by Zac Harding. Review taken with kind permission from http://wwwchristchurchkidsblog.wordpress.com
Phantom of Terawhiti is an action-packed adventure story, packed with mystery, armed and angry Russians, brainless hunters, wild weather, a car chase, and a race against time. Des Hunt is a gifted storyteller who never fails to write a story that grips readers and makes you keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. In Phantom of Terawhiti there are plenty of heart-stopping moments, especially when Zac and Jess clash with the Russians. The mystery of the ‘Phantom of Terawhiti’ draws you in and, even when the creature is revealed, you wonder how it will survive in the wild with the hunters trying to track it down.
Like the main characters in his other books, Zac and Jess are just normal Kiwi kids, who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe the right place at the right time). Zac gets dragged by his dad to come and live on the remote Terawhiti Station, and it’s while he’s here that he discovers the wreck of the yacht and the paw prints in the sand. When they discover the Phantom of Terawhiti, Zac and Jess know that they must do everything they can to protect it.
Phantom of Terawhiti is one of Des Hunt’s best books so far and I can’t wait to see where in the country he will take us to next.
Reviewed by Zac Harding. Review taken with kind permission from http://www.christchurchkidsblog.wordpress.com.