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Guardian of the Dead

Guardian of the DeadGuardian of the Dead

By Karen Healey

Genre: Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: School; Adventure: Magic/Fantasy

Grades: 7 & Up


Download Educator Guide


Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.


But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie’s circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, “You need it. It will save your soul.” Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.



William C. Morris Award Finalist

Aurealis Award


★ “Healey has done a wonderful job… This story starts off fast and strong and just builds from there.” -SLJ


★ “This book offers likeable characters with mythical heritage, reminiscent of Percy Jackson, tying together myth and reality into a cohesive whole.”-VOYA


“Fast-paced adventure and an unfamiliar, frightening enemy set a new scene for teen urban fantasy.” –Kirkus


“Healey’s prose is a notch above others… the Maori legends… are a breath of fresh air.” –Booklist


“It’s been a long time since a debut novel grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. From the first chilling mention of the Eyeslash Murderer (Note to self: Keep lights on) through the wonderfully evocative New Zealand setting, the fantastic Maori influence, the creepy school atmosphere, the introduction of funny, whip-smart characters, and the delicious, growing dread that something wicked this way comes, I was as hooked as hooked can be.” -Libba Bray, author of The Diviners


“Smart, hilarious, and wholly unique. Healey makes juxtaposing totally modern characters with numinous and ancient magic look effortless.” -Holly Black, author of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown