Ellie, the main character, is a boarding student at Mansfield School in Christchurch. She has a crush on a mysterious, lonely boy in her Classics class. He turns out to be half patupaiarehe, a kind of Maori vampire, and she, of course, has latent magical powers too. A serial killer named the Eyeslasher is stalking random victims all over the Christchurch area, and Ellie is in danger. She teams up with lonely boy to fight the forces of evil and come of age.
Healey nicely acknowledges the mix of Maori and European mythology that underlies New Zealand culture. The main theme of the book is how the stories you read shape your world, in Ellie's case quite literally.