A mysterious page-turner with a relatable protaganist, Danielle Bryers
August 23, 2021
Red Edge is a story about 12 year old Cassi and her friend Quin. Cassi and her dad Mike recently moved into a repaired house on the edge of Christchurch’s Red Zone. It’s quiet though. Just how Cassi likes it. She loves to run through the empty streets, letting off the tension that builds within her. Next door to Cassi’s new home is a seemingly abandoned house. She becomes suspicious about strange comings and goings at the broken-down house. When Cassi and Quin find a way into the garage, they think they know what is happening. It’s not only illegal, it’s just not right.
With Quin’s tech skills and Cassi’s determination to stop animal cruelty, they uncover an organised crime ring spanning across the world. The closer they get to getting evidence on the woman and her accomplice, the more dangerous it becomes. And as soon as Cassi and Quin think they have done it the criminals quickly turn the tables and pin multiple crimes on them. Cassi and Quin refuse to give in, leaving them with an adventurous time crunch.
Des Hunt has created a real page turner, with some amazing characters that kids will be able to relate to, especially in Christchurch. This isn’t a book I would typically choose off a shelf, but I’m glad I chose to read this book. It has a great plot, and Des has really made the book hard to put down.
Even though she was only four when the earthquake happened, Cassi still struggles with the haunting memories. An obsessive runner, she uses it as a way to deal with her stress and memories.
I think Cassi is a relatable character, because she’s still trying to figure out how to fit in and how to be a kid her age. Since Cassi has to do all the cooking and chores she often feels distanced from the other kids at her new school.
Quin, on the other hand, doesn’t have to do much at his house, and often just relaxes in his room on the computer. Although Quin’s been at the school for a while, he has very few friends and is trying to get through the day without being picked on by Harmony.
Even though the book has a lot of positives, I find some of the character traits cliched and unrealistic. Cassi is a twelve year old girl, but her lifestyle is quite mature, and when I was reading the first couple chapters I thought she at least 17. I also find the school bully stereotype is overused. Harmony is a nice girl, but just a bully because of her hard home life.
I would recommend this book to middle age readers. I don’t think older readers will enjoy it as much because the story does drag on a bit and is cliched.
Overall it’s a good book, and a fun way to learn about the pain and scars the Christchurch earthquake has caused. If you don’t like bugs I don’t recommend this book.
- Danielle Bryers is 13 years old and lives in Wairarapa.