Scarlet’s Aunt Sarah is the only one who knows about her “gift”. Over the years, however, it has become more and more difficult to keep hidden from others. This has meant Scarlet has grown up wary of becoming too close to other people; let alone setting off a chain of unplanned events because of her mind-reading. They’ve already had to shift once; now it looks though they are about to do so again.
This time, though, the circumstances are far more promising. Aunt Sarah has always been supportive of Scarlet, even though she is, at times, a lot to handle. Now, there is the opportunity for them to get a fresh start, and for Sarah to fulfill her dream: owning her own vet clinic. The clinic is currently owned by Sarah’s friend Tony; but as he is suffering from a mysterious illness, Tony can’t keep managing the clinic, and wants to see it is in safe hands.
Scarlet is glad at Sarah’s good fortune-until she hears that the clinic is in Waihi, New Zealand. Moving to a new town; let alone a new country was definitely not in Scarlet’s plan for her final year of high school. Scarlet soon finds out that she has a more pressing issue than the impending move to New Zealand. During the celebratory dinner to mark their move, Scarlet discovers a large turquoise tattoo on her hand. This isn’t the first tattoo that has appeared on her body as if by magic. Then there is the boy seated across from them, behaving in an eerie manner. Who is he? Just what is going on?
In New Zealand, Scarlet is soon plunged into a bizarre world of spiritual good and evil, that stretches across eons of Maori mythology. Scarlet must now discover her true nature if she is to survive.
“The Turquoise Tattoo” is a gripping read for young adults. It has exquisite imagery and fast-paced action.
However, this book is part of a series. As such, there is information missing that would have given the novel greater clarity. This is a great read in itself, but more background information; such as how certain characters came to be what they are, and a deeper understanding of how they are inter-related would have been useful. Hopefully, the gaps will be filled in subsequent parts of the series.
Overall, however, for those who know little of the Maori mythology or traditions, this is an education, as well as a fascinating journey. The writing style is modern and to the point, while drawing the reader in with the surreal imagery.
I give this book 3 stars out of 4.
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