Shortlist year: 2015

Shortlist category: Young adult literature

Published by: Text Publishing

Avicenna Crowe's mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked. Now she is missing.

The police are called, but they're not asking the right questions. But Avicenna has inherited her mother's gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery.

And when she uncovers a link between Joanne's disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city's dark and seedy underbelly.

Pulse-racing and terrifyingly real, The Astrologer's Daughter will test your belief in destiny and the endurance of love.

About the author

Rebecca Lim

Rebecca Lim is a writer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a commercial lawyer for several years before leaving to write full time.

Rebecca is the author of fifteen books for children and young adult readers, and her novels have been translated into German, French, Turkish, Portuguese and Polish.

Judges’ comments

The Astrologer's Daughter is an up-tempo novel mixing crime and supernatural genres filtered through the gritty and wholly believable voice of Melbourne teenager Avicenna Crow.

Her mother Jo—a highly rated astrologer—has suddenly disappeared. Leaving no obvious sign of where she has gone, or been taken, it is up to Avicenna to tease out the strands of her mother's past using the only information she has: astrology charts. The novel displays a clever, complex plot and a believable, engaging protagonist who is both vulnerable and feisty.

From Melbourne's Chinatown to remote Queensland, The Astrologer's Daughter crosses time and generations in search of her mother's whereabouts, as Avicenna is confronted by an array of antagonists. But she is also still at high school and vying for a scholarship in competition with friend Simon at Collegiate High.

When Simon becomes homeless and desperate they join forces. The Astrologer's Daughter also has time to smartly appropriate the poetry of John Donne and subvert the romance novel.

Rebecca Lim demonstrates extraordinary range and daring in this dazzling novel.