About the author:
Author of two non-fiction titles: Opium & Gold, the story of the early Chinese goldminers in NZ and Life & Times of Te Rauparaha – the story of the famous warrior as told by his son Tamihana. His first novel, Gravel Roads, was published in 2010 and was well reviewed. He lived for many years on a bush block near the Heaphy Track, and still has a farm there growing horopito commercially, though he now lives in Nelson. His first job in the Bay was working on the Heaphy Track for the Forest Service, so he knows it well. He also knows what native flora and fauna can be used for - information which is incorporated into this story.
He is the Chair of the Farewell Wharariki Health Post Nature Trust, helping to restore 12,000 hectares at the NW tip of the South Island.
About the Book:
Twelve-year-old Toby and his sister Millie, fourteen, are tramping the Heaphy Track with their mother when they go off-track to find an old surveyor’s hut their grandfather used. When their mother breaks her leg in a hidden hole the kids must head back to fetch help. They spend some nights alone, hungry and lost. So far, so ordinary, but there is something strange about the cave they’ve sort shelter in.
When a strange little woman emerges with the promise of food and shelter they reluctantly follow her into an underground cavern that is deeper than they first thought and a whole lot more dangerous.
Peter Butler’s newest novel Night Tribe brings together so much of what is great about young adult fiction: suspense, drama, excitement, and wonderful writing. The novel is a reminder of how good storytelling can be.
Set in quintessential New Zealand, the plot centres on Millie and Toby, struggling through the dense kiwi bush to find help for their mum who has broken her leg. Through their adventures they find themselves seemingly watched and tracked causing all kinds of suspicions and speculations - keeping the audience guessing as much as the characters themselves.
This immersive environment extends to the writing around the bush itself. Readers will find themselves venturing through the streams, over the hills, and past the landmarks described in the novel as Millie and Toby slowly unravel a whole otherworldliness to their travels.
On their journey, the fearless couple of explorers meets an unlikely bundle of characters with names like ‘Navigator’, ‘Claw’, and ‘Neck’ who help them find more meaning in the world around them, the Māori world, and themselves.
It’s the way the dialogue moves the story along that creates realism and interest for readers. Butler has a way of creating just the right amount of dialogue to bring the characters to life and to show appreciation for the world and its inhabitants. It’s a real talent of the writer.
In the end, it is the Night Tribe that will bring a lot to the surface for Millie and Toby, both positive and negative. It’s one of those YA books that you just know everyone in the family is going to want to read.
Overall, Night Tribe is a quality piece of writing that takes the reader on a journey of their own. It’s magical, immersive, funny and brilliantly paced for anyone who loves a darn good yarn.
Night Tribe really is one of those stories that ticks every box for any lover of adventure stories. – Chris Reed (NZ Booklovers)
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