Book One: The Crossing (2009)
Maryam refused to play by The Rules, and now they’re out to get her blood.
WINNER of the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards: Young Adult Fiction
Shortlisted for the LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award
Shortlisted for 2010 Sir Julius Vogel Award
2010 Notable Book b(Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust)
The Crossing is the first book in a trilogy that follows the fate of Maryam and her unlikely companions – Joseph, Ruth and Lazarus. This fast, suspenseful drama is underpinned by a powerful and moving story about loss and love.
The people of Onewēre, a small island in the Pacific, know that they are special – chosen to survive the deadly event that consumed the Earth. Now, from the rotting cruise ship Star of the Sea, the elite control the population – manipulating old texts to set themselves up as living ‘gods’. But what the people of Onewēre don’t know is this: the leaders will stop at nothing to meet their own blood-thirsty needs . . .
When Maryam crosses from child to woman, she must leave everything she has ever known and make a crossing of another kind. But life inside the ship is not as she had dreamed, and she is faced with the unthinkable: obey the leaders and very likely die, or turn her back on every belief she once held dear.
- Our foremost children’s writer, Margaret Mahy, has described the book as ‘Like 1984 for teenagers – direct, powerful and passionate.’
- “…I’m with Margaret on this one. A riveting read, I couldn’t put it down….” from Bookman Beattie
- “The Crossing is a tremendous opening to the Blood of the Lamb trilogy. Mandy Hager has a real gift for storytelling, moving events at a cracking pace yet seemingly effortlessly evoking this new world order… Here’s hoping she is able to maintain the impeccable standard of this opener. The Crossing is brilliantly conceived and a trilogy that lives up to the promise demonstrated here might well be on the way to becoming a classic.” Martin Turner (WA)
- “Award winning NZ author Mandy Hager is not very well known outside her home country but her new book, The Crossing, is a post-apocalyptic thriller of such force and originality that it deserves a much wider audience.” Booktopia SF& Fantasy September Buzz
- “Mandy Hager has announced herself as a major New Zealand talent with this book.” Gnomadic Librarian
- “Just wanted to say I totally agree about Mandy Hager’s ‘The Crossing’, stunning book, couldn’t put it down and felt quite gobsmacked when I got to the end… I want book 2!” NZ Bookgirl
- “… It’s a very powerful book, a beautifully written book, one which, like the best of speculative or futuristic fiction creates an utterly believable world, and I look forward to the rest of the trilogy with impatience. Definitely a teenage/young adult/adult read, with wonderful characters, and a lot of thinking required of the reader.” Malcolm, Storytime Books.
Book Two: Into the Wilderness (2010)
You’ll be swept along by this exciting story from the imaginative Mandy Hager– Margaret Mahy
Notable Book 2011 – Storylines Trust
Shortlisted for Best Young Adult novel in the 2011 Sir Julius Vogel Awards.
Maryam, Ruth and Joseph have fled Onewere, reluctantly taking Joseph’s troublesome cousin, Lazarus, as well. They arrive at their destination, Marawa Island, filled with hope for rescue and reprieve. But at first glance the island appears to be solely populated by birds… Perhaps the Apostle’s dire warnings about the fall-out of the Tribulation were true after all?
- “Into The Wilderness is a taut, original thriller in its own right…” TVNZ Book reviews
- “The second volume…is here, and it’s just as good as the first. It’s a young adult/teenage read, beautifully written, with characters full of complexity and doubt, but the plot also rattles along at a hectic pace. Too often in novels one or the other (plot or character) dominates, while the other is less well developed, but there’s a good balance here between the two, so that the story will appeal to those who like a rattling good yarn as well as those who read for enlightenment about the human condition… it’s an emotional roller-coaster as Ruth’s faith competes with Maryam’s angry doubt to explain what they find. Highly recommended for teenagers or adults, and the third book will be eagerly awaited.” Storytime Books
- I did not expect to like this book so much, but I was pleasantly surprised. When I closed the book, I was actually disappointed that the book had come to an end. This book is part of a series. I did not read book one. I probably would not have suffered from confusion in the first two chapters, if I’d taken time to read the first book. Nonetheless, it was easy to catch onto. I recommend reading these books; they will engage any audience.”
- Another masterpiece is on its way – Book Three of this majestic trilogy.” NZ Books
Book Three: Resurrection (2011)
A powerful novel that ends the Blood of the Lamb trilogy. Bob’s Book Blog
Maryam fights for her life, freedom and love in this thrilling finale to the Blood of the Lamb series. When Maryam arrives back at Onewēre and tries to loosen the Apostles’ religious stranglehold by sharing the miraculous remedy for Te Matee Iai, she finds herself captured once again — prey to the Apostles’ deadly game. Somehow Maryam must get the islanders to listen to her plea that they start thinking for themselves — hoping to stir the independence in their hearts, even as she finds herself on the brink of death…
- “This series has it all – action, suspense, humour and imagination, set against a background that is familiar, but different… an inspiring final in this trilogy for teens.” The Timaru Herald.
- “Resurrection is the much-anticipated finale in Hager’s trilogy. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if Hager made it a trifecta in 2012 – the final instalment in the series certainly lives up to expectations… Resurrection is impeccably plotted, the characterisation is excellent and Hager has a handy knack of teasing then rewarding her audience… Resurrection doesn’t require former knowledge of the Blood of the Lamb trilogy but given the quality of Hager’s writing, I’d highly recommend you read all three.” Anna Gowan, TVNZ website
Pyr Books (part of Prometheus Books, USA) published the trilogy in the US. The Crossing was released in September 2013, Into The Wilderness in Jan 2014, and Resurrection in September 2014. Thanks Pyr Books!
US Reviewer’s Praise for The Crossing (Blood of the Lamb Book One)
“Readers will enjoy the thought-provoking discussions that arise from the novel’s focus on how racial and religious superiority is explicitly pitted against a modern indigenous population.” – School Library Journal, March 1, 2014
“Fast-paced and engaging. …Maryam is a strong heroine who stands up to oppressors with little hesitation. …. Recommend this title to fans of dark dystopian fiction.” —VOYA
“Excellent…recommended for fans who still crave dark dystopian fiction.” —Royal Reviews, SWON Libraries
“A trilogy that refreshes the genre while still playing by its rules… Hager creates a believable world and moves the story along at a brisk clip.” —ForeWord Reviews
“Hager’s characters are quite believable as reality and belief collide and some very difficult moral and personal choices must be made. . . . The Crossing will keep you engrossed until the final page and anxious to find out what happens next.” —SF Revu
“Riveting…The story is gripping and hard to put down.” —Portland Book Review
“Hager’s story is an example of how tenuous equality can be when humanity is threatened. . . . The imperfect protagonist, the low-key romance that sparks life into a dangerous story, and the urgency the characters carry, make Hager’s The Crossing an addicting and thought-provoking read.” —Blogcritics
“It’s a study on humanity, on racism, on slavery, on religion, on the power of fear, and on the power of friendship, love, and trust. And it was almost one of the best dystopian novels I could have ever imagined. . . . A pulse-pounding, heart-wrenching dystopia that takes risks.” —Book Brats
“An exciting profound dystopian post-apocalyptic thriller. The intense storyline looks deeply into organized religion propagandizing its message to further self-interests rather than that of the flock.” —Alternate Worlds
“Hager’s framework is compelling… Hager does a good job interlacing religious mythologies into the rhetoric and worldbuilding of the Apostles, and showing the impact of that mythology on the girls who serve them.” —Strange Horizons
“A breath of fresh air… Hagar has defiantly come up with an original and innovative idea. …This book was exciting but not too faced paced, edgy without being intrusive, and had plenty of new twists that kept me guessing. …I felt this novel was a success and encourage you to read it!” —LitPick
“What a journey did this story take me on. Seriously amazing!…I really enjoyed this one. 5 out of 5″ —Mother Daughter Gamer