A gripping thriller, Savarna Yang
Allen & Unwin
30 March, 2021
“‘You’ve never felt the sun on your face have you?’ ‘No,’ I whisper, as a tear runs down my cheek.”
Xeroderma Pigmentosum. A genetic skin disorder, where any contact with sunlight is potentially deadly.
Viola was born with this condition and has never lived a normal child’s life. At night she roams the forest near her parent’s farm but by day she must be inside, asleep behind blackout curtains.
Then one night Viola witnesses something that could make her life even more at risk then it already is.
Will she make the right decisions? Can she?
There’s only one way to find out…
When I first read Night Vision by Ella West, what really grabbed me was the blunt and to-the-point way it is written. West doesn’t try to make this book sound like a fairy tale with a happily-ever-after sort of ending but at the same time it’s not really sad. However, sometimes I found that when the characters are speaking to each other it’s slightly too formal and minimal (they are a family) and this hinders the flow of the story.
Set in the Canterbury foothills on a small sheep farm, this doesn’t sound like a place where much would happen but with a car fire, dope grower, dead body and a million dollars buried in the forest, Night Vision becomes a gripping novel that is made different from the norm when you add Viola with XP to the mix.
I found I could still relate to Viola even though she didn’t live a normal teen life as I also live on a farm and play an instrument and so was able to understand all the farming and music terms she used. These facts might make it a more complicated read for others though.
“When I was younger, Dad used to do a lot of the farm work at night. He wanted to spend time with me, show me what he did each day, and the only way to do that safely for me was after dark. We would shift the sheep, go round the lambing mobs, bring them into treat them for flystrike, put the rams out. It was okay. He even had the shearing gangs come at night for a while. They would spend four days shearing the ewes and the hoggets and the rams. I learned how to pick up a fleece and throw it on the table, skirt the edges and separate the bellies, the neck, the top knot, sweep the board clean for the shearer between each sheep. “
Viola can be quite opinionated and I don’t always agree with her – but a lot of characters have flaws and overall I really enjoyed the story and would definitely recommend it, especially to readers who like a slight thriller. The plot is not hard to follow and I thought the story was a perfect length.
- Savarna Yang is 12 and lives outside Dunedin. This is her first time writing a review.