RAZORHURST by Justine Larbalestier is an absorbing chase novel from beginning to end.
Set in the gangster-filled slums of 1932 Sydney during a time of extreme poverty and violence, a young orphan stumbles upon a murder involving organized crime. This bloody discovery sets off a non-stop thrill-ride filled with fascinating characters. From the ghosts she’s been able to see since birth to the wide array of criminals put in her path, Kelpie doesn’t know who to trust and who to follow.
What makes this young adult historical suspense particularly intriguing is the way it weaves in ghosts as a fantasy element. Many young adults find the idea of ghosts alluring. While most novels use ghosts as a one-dimensional plot element, Larbalestier has built a complex ghost world complete with rules that guide their existence.
Readers will find the glossary at the end of the book useful in explaining some of the lesser-known vocabulary. Although some readers may find the use of archaic terms distracting, most lovers of history and fantasy will find that the rich vocabulary brings the world alive for readers.
From history and fantasy fans to those that enjoy a heart-pounding suspense-thriller, librarians will easily identify readers for this well-written young adult novel.
This book was influenced by the real-life gangs of the twenties and thirties in Sydney. To learn more about what sparked the author’s interest, go to http://justinelarbalestier.com/books/razorhurst/influences/.
To learn more about the author and the book, go to http://justinelarbalestier.com/.
Published by Soho Teen, March 2015.