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  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775430
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

Violet Black

The first book in the Black Spiral Trilogy

Set in the near future, this first book in a fast-paced trilogy will hook you in from the first page.

Violet Black and Ethan Wright are both in a coma after contracting the lethal M-fever. They have never met:

I couldn’t speak, but I was trying so hard to communicate and then . . . then . . .
I pushed. And something, someone, pushed back.
Her name is Violet. Violet, but she is sunshine-yellow, and I need to find her because I think she might be just like me.

But there is a far more serious reason for Ethan to find Violet: the sinister Foundation is trying to hunt them down.

Reviews of Eileen’s previous books:
A Trio of Sophies doesn't so much as start as launch the reader into the centre of a storm that will hold you until the very last secret is solved.‘ — Weekend Herald

‘Merriman writes what teenagers want to read, and she certainly knows how to write it well.’ — NZ Books on Invisibly Breathing

‘Merriman just seems to be able to cut straight to the intensity of a relationship, or a first relationship the anguish, drama, the second guessing and the doubt, and the pure electricity of those first physical encounters’ — Radio NZ on Catch Me When You Fall

‘I found it to be compelling, challenging, and heartbreaking, but very real. It handles teen issues with grace and sensitivity but doesn't shy away from honesty.’ – Tots to Teens on Pieces of You

  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775430
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the author

Eileen Merriman

Eileen Merriman’s three young adult novels, Pieces of You, Catch Me When You Fall, and Invisibly Breathing, were finalists in the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2018 and 2019, and all three were Storylines Notable Books. Her fourth young adult novel A Trio of Sophies was published in 2020 to huge critical praise and was also published in Germany. Her first adult novel, Moonlight Sonata, was released in July 2019, with reviewers calling it ‘skilfully crafted’, and a ‘carefully layered and thoughtful drama, with beautifully observed and believable Kiwi characters’. It was longlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction 2020.

Her other awards include runner-up in the 2018 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Award, third for three consecutive years in the 2014-2016 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards, second in the 2015 Bath Flash Fiction Award, commended in the 2015 Bath Short Story Competition, and first place in the 2015 Graeme Lay Short Story Competition. She works full-time as a consultant haematologist at North Shore Hospital.

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Praise for Violet Black

NZ Book Awards’ finalist Eileen Merriman presents the first book in what promises to be an intriguing, page-turner of a new trilogy written to appeal to readers aged 12 and up. Set in the near future, this story sees Violet Black and Ethan Wright struggling against the cruel intentions of the sinister Foundation.

East Life

This young adult novel is the first in a fantasy trilogy from prolific author Eileen Merriman. Eerily, in these Covid times its plot centres around a contagious disease, M-fever, which mostly affects teens and young adults, and is most often fatal. Seventeen-year-old Violet awakes after surviving M-fever but to find an unexpected consequence—she can hear other people’s thoughts. And she isn’t alone. It’s a great read full of action, espionage as the government effectively kidnaps the affected teens to create a unique squad of spies, and some romance. This novel kept me enthralled till the end and definitely left me wanting more.

Ann Kilduff, Whanganui Midweek

The author’s science and medical background is evident in Violet Black, setting up a strong foundation for this exciting trilogy. No.2 Black Wolf – is out September 2021, and told in another of the teen’s viewpoints (Phoenix). No.3 Black Spiral – is due 2022. Science, espionage, betrayal, secrets, and the promise of more action, revenge, and heart ache will hold me until I can get my hands on the rest of this trilogy. Another great novel by this talented award winning author.


Violet Black hits all the right notes for a thrilling read that teenagers (and older readers) will enjoy. There is romance and action, a deadly pandemic and controversial vaccines, big money and manipulation. And at the heart of the story is a group of ordinary teenagers, suddenly ripped from their families and grappling with abilities that will change their lives forever. I can’t wait to read the next instalment – I’m hooked!

Karen McMillan, nzbooklovers

In Eileen Merriman’s first instalment of a futuristic fantasy trilogy for young adults, we encounter a world not too far removed from our own. . . By merging medical science in a believable setting with science fiction elements, Violet Black will intrigue. . . . Merriman draws in contemporary social issues, not only attitudes to epidemics and vaccines, but also terrorism. As her characters battle vindictiveness, we are asked to think about the importance of individual lives as well as the protection of human qualities in a world of rapid technological transformation. . . . Merriman has shown herself to be a prolific writer across genres and age groups. It is not easy in writing for young people to replicate authenticity and not condescend, even innocently. However, Merriman has no problem in avoiding these pitfalls. . . . this is a tightly structured read where the reader must engage in issues entirely of relevance as we too adjust to an unknown, morphing and daunting present.

Jessie Neilson, Kete.co.nz

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