Sunday 1 March 2020


Spellhacker by M.K England (Harper Collins) RRP PB $19.99
ISBN 9780062968081

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Diz, Jaesin, Remi and Ania live together in Kyrkarta, a town left devasted by an earthquake ten years ago. The earthquake caused the ‘spellplague’ by releasing contaminated maz (magic) into the air. Thousands died, three quarters of Kyrkarta’s children were left as orphans, and many survivors were infected with the plague.

Once a free and abundant natural resource, maz is now a highly valuable rationed commodity controlled by a large corporation. For the past couple of years, the four high school friends have worked together as an undercover team siphoning maz from underground pipes for the black market. The group are contracted by well-to-do individuals to discreetly carry out the jobs. After recently graduating from school, they decide that their deceitful days are over and to quit while they’re ahead. In the final week before they leave for university, they all agree that their last job is done. The plan is to enjoy some quality time together before they go their separate ways. However, Diz is soon approached by a wealthy man and asked to siphon the rare new strain of maz in exchange for a payment large enough to change all their lives. Without consultation, Diz agrees to the deal on behalf of her friends and anticipates the ‘greatest last score of all time’. What could possibly go wrong?

Spellhacker is a fantasy fiction novel written in the first person by the protagonist, Diz. It would be suitable for young adult readers who enjoy magic, crime and futuristic technology.

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