This is the second book in David Hair's The Aotearoa series which began with The Bone Tiki. Usually I would read the first book first but as I was relying on the local library I had to content myself with beginning with this one - the first book was out on loan.
These are fantasy books in which the main character, Matiu Douglas, who through a series of event in The Bone Tiki discovers he can travel into the past and that he has powers which cause him to come into contact and some conflict with mythological and supernatural beings. As this novel opens Mat is beginning to come to terms with his new powers and is being guided by some new friends. He is a novice in this parallel world and realizes he must learn more from his mentors. It is summer and Mat travels to Gisborne to see in the New Year with his father. They are meeting his mother there and his parents are attempting a reconciliation. Mat's mentors give him strict instructions not to enter the other world while in Poverty Bay as there are strong legends and characters that he is not ready to meet with yet. However, on the way to the city, he and and his father stop for a meal. As Mat takes a walk by the river he is drawn into the past by an old woman who begs him to help her rescue her daughter. Mat is unable to refuse and is drawn into the fight of his life. His cousin and friends all become involved as well and Mat soon discovers he is not the only one who has this ability to go into the other world of the past and mythology.
I enjoyed this story immensely even though I am not a great fan of fantasy. Mat is a believable character and I enjoyed the mix of Maori legend and modern life in New Zealand. I will have to wait until I am back in New Zealand to read the other books in the series - from the library of course.