LIANZA is the professional association of people working in library and information-related fields in New Zealand. Each year they give awards for excellence in New Zealand literature, including a young adult section. This year the YA finalists are all about thrillers, suspense, action, and a bit of horror.
The Shattering, Karen Healey – “Summerton is perfect: gorgeous weather, stunning scenery, cute out-of-towners to meet. But sharp-tongued Keri has been left shattered with grief by her older brother’s suicide. She discovers her other frineds have also lost brothers in suspicious circumstances. Does Summerton hold dark secrets?” (catalogue)
Read more about The Shattering on the author’s website.
Pyre of Queens, David Hair – “Mandore, India, 769 AD: An evil sorcerer king has devised a deadly secret ritual: he and his seven queens will burn on his funeral pyre and he will rise again with the powers of the demon king, Ravana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of the court poet. Jodhphur, India, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, four teenagers meet and realise that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries and fight an ancient battle… one more time.” (catalogue)
This is the first book in the Return of Ravana series, from the author of The Bone Tiki.
Dirt Bomb, Fleur Beale – “Jake’s life is sweet and he wouldn’t change a thing. He’s got no money and doesn’t have a mobile, but he’s got two best mates; Buzz and Robbie. Buzz is generous and doesn’t mind buying stuff for his mates. Robbie has the idea of rescuing an old wreck from a ditch and making it into a paddock basher. Buzz, however, puts a spanner in the works by saying he’s not paying for it all, it’s even stevens or no deal. Robbie gets a job, but Jake refuses. It’s just not his style to work for a boss. But he desperately wants to drive that car, and the others are going to go ahead without him.” (catalogue)
Fleur Beale won the Young Adult award last year for Fierce September, and is the author of the New Zealand young adult classic I Am Not Esther.
The Bridge, Jane Higgins – “The city is at war. Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation. They’re hungry to cross the river. Cityside, ISIS is in charge, the brains behind the war. Its job—keep the hostiles at bay. ISIS only recruits the best for its elite command. Nik is smart. Very smart. So why does ISIS reject him? Before he can find out, his school is bombed. The hostiles take the bridges, and they’ve kidnapped Fyffe’s brother Sol. Now Nik is on the run. And Fyffe is going with him. Across the bridge.” (author’s website)
There’s more information about the book (including a map) at the author’s website.
Recon Team Angel: Assault, Brian Falkner – “It is 2030, and the world is at war with an alien race. The Bzadians. The battleground: Earth. Recon Team Angel, made up of teenagers from around the world, has been training for years. They have learned Bzadian languages. Learned how to operate their weapons. How to work, eat, and think like them. Now it is time to act. Six recon soldiers must slip behind enemy lines, right into the top-secret alien facility inside Uluru/Ayers Rock. But what they discover will shock not just them, but all of humanity.” (author’s website)
Brian Falkner is the author of the hugely popular Brainjack.