Here’s what critics are saying about Monsters of Virtue:

‘It’s an understatement to say that this book will give you a lot to think about […] L. J. Ritchie has taken a tough topic and handled it with delicacy and intellectual rigor that is almost flawless. Monsters of Virtue is a feat to be celebrated.’ Sarah Forster for The Sapling
‘What happens when you tell a group of children they are the brightest of the bright and then leave them alone? […] The suspense is unbelievably satisfying and the conclusion, when it comes, is dramatic, organic and charged.’  Emily Brill-Holland for Scoop Review of Books

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eugenics (noun)
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?

Monsters of Virtue is L.J. Ritchie’s second novel for young adults. It is available for purchase  from Escalator Press and at all good bookstores.

‘A riveting novel from a powerful new voice in YA literature.’ – Brian Falkner, best-selling author of The Tomorrow Code
‘An intellectually compelling “what-if” history of ideas. I devoured it in one long read and enjoyed it hugely. L.J. Ritchie could easily become the John Marsden of New Zealand.– Rob Watts, Professor of Social Policy at RMIT University