A prize-winning, fast-paced thriller that explores love and loss, assumptions and prejudices, truth and fiction, and the many faces of 'family'.Ash McCarthy thinks he finally has it made, revelling in the freedom of being a student. But life is about to take a drastic turn when two police officers knock on his door. Their devastating news forces him to return home and propels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies . . . so many lies. As if this isn't bad enough, the whole country is imploding, as the world's two greatest super-powers start a fight that leaves New Zealand 'piggy-in-the-middle' of their deadly games. While trying to protect his brother, Ash's fight to uncover the truth turns into a nightmare race to save their lives. Winner of LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award 2013. Shortlisted for NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2013.
Mandy Hager has been awarded the Katherine Mansfield Menton fellowship for 2014, and she was the 2012 recipient of the New Zealand Society of Authors Beatson Fellowship. She won the Esther Glen Award for Fiction for her YA novel Smashed and Best Young Adult Book in the NZ Post Book Awards 2010 for The Crossing. The Nature of Ash won the LIANZA YA Fiction Award in 2013 and was shortlisted for the 2013 NZ Post Children's Book Awards. In 2015 her novel Singing Home the Whale was awarded a Storylines Notable Book Award; was a finalist for the LIANZA YA Fiction award; it won the YA category of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults; and was named the 2015 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year. Singing Home the Whale was described by the judges as a novel that "should be compulsory reading in any country that still hunts whales."Hager has a MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University and an Advanced Diploma in Applied Arts (Writing) from Whitireia Community Polytechnic, where she now works as a tutor and mentor. She lives with her partner on the Kapiti Coast. She has written novels for adults and young adults, short stories, scripts, and non-fiction resources for young people.See more at www.mandyhager.com, and on her Facebook pages for the Blood of the Lamb trilogy and for The Nature of Ash.Internationally acclaimed writer Margaret Mahy proclaimed The Crossing as being like '1984 for teenagers - direct, passionate and powerful', while in the Otago Daily Times children's writer and reviewer Tania Roxborogh similarly drew comparisons between this 'important book' and other literary classics, declaring it 'utterly compelling . . . very much in the vein of Atwood's The Handmai