Summer Wigmore, The Wind City Reviews

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“This is a gem of a story”


written by plappen on 18/05/2014

The Wind City, Summer Wigmore, 2013, ISBN 9780992257804 Set in present-day Wellington, New Zealand, this book is about two people who learn that the world is not what they think it is. Saint is a destitute, loser type. On the bus, one day, he sees a very strange woman with straight white hair named Hinewai. Saint is the only one who can see her. She tells him that beings from Maori legend, that go under the general name of iwi atua, are coming to Wellington, some with violent intentions toward humans. Saint can't help but think that he is losing his mind, until his roommate (who he calls The Flatmate) turns into a large, hairy, carnivorous creature who almost makes Saint his next meal. Saint meets an ethereal being named Noah, who convinces him that the rest of the iwi atua are just mindless creatures who don't deserve to live. Tony is a female boat owner who runs one of those see-the-dolphins tourist boats. One day, her boat is deliberately sunk by Hinewai, who tells Tony that she is actually a type of iwi atua, called a toniwha (a type of large lizard that can swim underwater). Tony is surprised when she actually transforms into a toniwha. Hinewai is upset because, in Maori folklore, she has only a minor role in someone else's tale, but she doesn't have her own tale. Tony figures that the first step in getting Hinewai her own tale is to take her to some of the bars and restaurants in Wellington, where she might meet her True Love. They run into Saint, who learns, to his shock, that those iwi atua that he has been killing, by the hundreds, really are intelligent beings. Many of the surviving iwi atua would like to make Saint pay for what he has done, slowly and painfully. Can Tony keep Saint alive, and prevent a war between humans and the iwi atua? This is a gem of a story. Considering that it is the author's debut novel (she was only nineteen years old when it was published) brings it to the level of Wow. It is well-written from start to finish, and it is highly recommended.

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