Author(s): Joanna Orwin
A dark shape hurtled out of the fog...The bird turned in a curving steep dive, aiming for Tama...The boy was being dragged beneath it, his feet barely brushing the tops of tussocks...Owl and Tama could hardly be more different. Owl has a lot to cope with. He's trying to get used to life without his Dad while helping his family run their struggling farm, All he wants is to escape by getting into archaeology and improve his climbing. And along comes Tama, a disgruntled city kid. Owl's family supposedly has to help him out. Tama won't say much, but Owl can tell he's full of aggro and resentment. The boys are set for a stand-off. Yet Tama's arrival coincides with Owl's discovery of some Maori cave drawings. Owl's interest in the rock art, and the tension between him and Tama, somehow unleash a disturbing malevolence from the past. Together they have set free the forces of the ancient myth of the Pouakai, a brutal man-eater bent on destruction. Owl and reluctant Tama must decode the story of the cave drawings so they can defeat the creature: to save themselves, Owl's family, and the local farmers. A wild, gripping novel that retells the Waitaha legend of the Puuakai.
Winner of New Zealand Post Children's Book Award: Senior Fiction 2002.