Flight of the Fantail, by Steph Matuku. Teen Fiction.
But when? Two of the number manage to get back to the remains of the bus, finding that new kid, Theo, on the way, lying dead with a cell phone smashed into his face. WHAAAAAT???? Their search for food, clothes and equipment takes a worrying turn – who killed Theo? And why?
As they establish a very rough, makeshift camp, it seems that Duh-Devin is’nt stupid after all, for her loser dad taught her all sorts of practical skills which actually improve their situation, like lighting a fire, constructing a shelter to keep the rain off, catching an eel (she was amazed that she could!), and finding some edible plants which, whilst not exactly broccoli, plugged the gnawing hunger gap for a time.
But what about the strange pulsing they all feel – the headaches they experience, and the dark fantasies that threaten to overcome them unless they physically hurt themselves to banish the nastiness: there’s something badly amiss in this part of the forest, and it doesn’t take them long to find it.
Ms Matuku has done a fine job here of combining fact, fantasy and Maori myths to weave a great story of friendship through adversity and heartache: the terrible situation in which her characters find themselves is hardly real, but Rocky, Devin, Eva and Jahmin are great examples of today’s generation - resourceful, staunch, loving and brave. Great stuff! FIVE STARS.