Review Blog

May 19 2011

The crossing by Mandy Hager

cover image

The blood of the lamb book 1. ISBN: 978-1869791506.
Random House New Zealand, 2009.
Coming to terms with reality is hard; dealing with that reality is harder.
The crossing is a story of well aimed rebellion. Marym otherwise named Nanona is one of those special characters that only come around once in a while, you can really relate to her thoughts and feelings as they are expressed in this novel. She grew up on a little atoll with all the other Chosen, who were chosen because their blood doesn't clot when mixed with Father Joshua's. They were told that they were chosen by the Lamb to spread peace and happiness to the survivors of the Tribulation. This is a complete and utter lie.
As Marym comes of age she begins to think outside of the box. She makes the humiliating crossing to womanhood in full faith that she is moving to a better place, but she soon finds out that she is dead wrong. The Star of the Sea is nothing like she ever imagined. Rape and death are daily companions to the servers. Marym knows that this is wrong; could this really be the Lord's wish? She begins to question everything she has ever known.
With the help of a kindly blind man she discovers the truth. The Apostles of the Lamb want only blood. They use the blood to prolong their divine lives at the cost of every 'Chosen' woman. The chosen are as important to the Apostles as a single sheep to its Shepherd.
This book has a solid story line, one that will never grow old, but I have to say that I wouldn't be keen on recommending this book for anyone younger than sixteen. There are some 'scenes' that I believe are not for the squeamish and the descriptions used could be a little unwelcome for most teenagers.
Kayla Gaskell (Student, aged15)

Editor's note: The crossing won the Young Adult Fiction Category in the New Zealand Post Children's Book Award.

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