Monsters of Virtue


The science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.

New Zealand, 1932. The height of the Great Depression. In the wilds of the Ōtaki River Gorge, the newly-formed Eugenics Department gathers the best and brightest in an attempt to create perfection.

… But what makes a perfect person?

Fifteen-year-old Eve knows she’s not one – but with her sister’s life on the line, she’d better convince her new classmates that she could be. Together with uneasy allies Orion and Nyx, she’ll pry into the dark heart of this fledgling utopia. Will the future that awaits them there be one worth fighting for?

ISBN: 978-0-473-44950-6


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Media for Monsters of Virtue

‘A riveting novel from a powerful new voice in YA literature.’
-Brian Falkner, celebrated young adult book author and sought-after writing coach.

‘I devoured this in one long read and enjoyed it hugely. L.J. Ritchie could easily become the John Marsden of New Zealand.
Good novelists are experts in imaginative time travel. In an intellectually compelling “what-if” history of ideas, ‘Monsters of Virtue’ takes us back to New Zealand in the 1930s. There is action and even visceral violence in full measure. Above all, this novel works on you emotionally.’
-Professor Rob Watts, Professor of Social Policy at RMIT University.

Independent Herald Article (Dec 2018)
Kāpiti News Article (Dec 2018)
The Sapling Article (Dec 2018)
Weekend Herald Review (Dec 2018)
NZ Booklovers Review (Nov 2018)
NZ Booklovers Interview (Nov 2018)
The Sapling Review (Oct 2018)
Scoop Review (Oct 2018)

Notes for Teachers

Teachers notes for Monsters of Virtue


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