“Mata Oti: Eyes of Death” Review

The cover is mostly blue and shows the upper corner of a persons face so just their eye and cheek are visible. The eye is bright yellow while the rest of the faces is tinted blue. There is a strand of DNA displayed diagonally across the cover as well.Written by Lani Wendt Young
Published by National Library, National University of Samoa, August 2021
295 pages
Completed December 25, 2023

From reclusive librarian to warrior guardian… Iva must safeguard her two nieces as Samoa battles a mutant variant of the deadly virus that’s raging across the world. It transforms people into savage creatures beyond all hope. She’s afraid, but determined to get the children through hordes of the infected to an emergency evacuation plane. It’s a race against time though as the variant rampages through her own veins. Can she fight off the Change for long enough so they all survive?

This was very good book – I really liked the characters and how things played out. The situation starts out very similar to the COVID pandemic with everyone trying to stay safe. The island of Samoa manages to keep the virus out for a while but things go from bad to worse pretty quickly once the virus hits. It also ends up being an engineered virus that got out of a lab accidentally which makes things much worse for everyone. There’s a lot of things going on beyond it just being a virus and the ending makes that very clear as well.