2

I am looking for a YA horror/dystopian novel which I read in around 2008. The novel was set in a dystopian version of the modern (1990s/early 2000s) world; in the opening pages two teenagers break into a car to steal it and it turns out to be a trap, kidnapping them and driving them autonomously to a hospital where an organ theft ring preying on wayward teenagers is operating. I thought that it was by an NZ author (specifically Margaret Mahy) but having looked through several lists of works by different authors none jump out at me.

1 Answer 1

5

I immediately found it of course after searching with different keywords on GoodReads, it was indeed by Mahy but was republished under a new title that I didn't recognise. It is "Operation Terror" by Margaret Mahy, which according to GoodReads is also published as "Organ Music" but based on the National Library catalogue I am not sure if this is true (certainly based on the 1 sentence blurbs they sound similar but "Organ Music" is 91 pages while "Operation Terror" is 120 pages).

It was Harley's idea that he and David should take a ride in the abandoned car. But when the boys find themselves in a mysterious research station, David suspects it's all part of a sinister plan. But who wants to trap them? And why?

The blurb reproduced above (found on GoodReads but taken directly from the back of the book, the same appears on the National Library catalogue) is not terribly detailed, but the reviews give more detail; I guess not too much information is online since it is a relatively minor short work by Mahy (she is a well-known YA author with a lot of novels). The plot is basically as I described it, two teenagers steal a car and are driven to a medical facility in the middle of nowhere which is run as an organ harvesting facility for the rich. I also recognise the cover of a doctor in scrubs standing over the viewer with a scalpel.

(Oh and finally, just to make it harder to find the work was listed on the wikipedia page of her works under the incorrect name "Operator Terror", and the same incorrect name appears in the citation for that page. Fixed now.)

2
  • 1
    (I write an answer since it's bad form to simply delete a question without warning and since I found it impossible to find this book simply by Googling due to not being very well-known even in NZ, so hopefully it is useful to the next person who searches.) May 6, 2023 at 2:14
  • 2
    Agreed, it's good to post a self-answer and story-ID questions are provably useful to others. But, could you edit the answer to add a link and more details about the book (e.g. from Goodreads blurbs/reviews or wherever else you found it) that confirm the plot details mentioned in the question? Then future readers would immediately be able to understand whether it's what they're also looking for or not.
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 6, 2023 at 9:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.