|Phantom of Terawhiti is the latest
young adult novel by Des Hunt, and it is pleasure to read. With at least fifteen novels
under his belt Mr Hunt has mastered the art of telling a story with believable characters
Phantom of Terawhiti tells the story of Zac and
Jesss discovery of and search for a pet lost off a shipwrecked yacht along
Wellingtons Terawhiti coast (west of Wellington and facing Cook Strait proper). Zac
has been transplanted to a farm cottage in rural Wellington with his father due to a white
collar crime committed by Zacs fathers twin brother. To combat the boredom Zac
explores the farm and discovers a very recent shipwreck and sights a fugitive animal from
In the course of trying to find the animal Zac meets and is befriended by Jess; has to
save the pet from zealous pig hunters and stay clear of thugs intent on ransoming the pet.
Occasional meetings with members of the public upset by Zacs uncles crime
Mr Hunt has written a nicely paced story which is neither far fetched nor riddled with
coincidence and lucky chance. I enjoyed the way small snippets of less well known pieces
of Wellingtons early history were introduced into the story as casual backdrop.