The second book in an exciting new YA/crossover series about genetically engineered individuals with superhuman abilities.

It’s hard to remember hating anything as much as I hate Affinity; a bone-deep loathing for the faceless unknown and the concrete walls of my own DNA.

Evie is a Shield: designed to kill in order to protect, and the Affinity Project have finally come for her. But Evie isn’t ready for the sinister organisation to take control of her life, her body, her mind. She isn’t ready to follow their rules about who can live and who must die – not when it condemns the innocent. She has one option: risk losing everything and everyone – including Jamie – and run.


Rachael Craw studied Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury, but became an English teacher after graduation. Working with teenagers has given her a natural bent towards Young Adult fiction and a desire to present a feisty female protagonist in her writing. Her debut novel, Spark, is the first in a series released with Walker Books Australia from 2014. Rachael was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, and currently lives in Nelson with her husband and three daughters. Visit her online at


I could seriously picture everything that was happening like a movie in my head. I was hanging on every word and dreading the end of each chapter.

Behind the Pages

The breath-taking escapes, fight scenes, gut-wrenching interrogations, emotional encounters, and sheer inventiveness of the plot crackles with excitement and energy.


This is another story where the preceding volume has stayed with me, because it was such an innovative and well planned fantasy. It is a tight, beautifully constructed story from a skilled and imaginative author.

103.1FM Grafton

The plot is exciting, intense and constantly moving, with excellent character relationships and a kick ass heroine at its center. I loved all of the scientific twists and can’t wait for the next book!

Happy Indulgence

I fell in love, then fell apart as the storyline completely unravelled before me. It was glorious and beautifully written. This series gathers strength with each installment, setting the scene for Evie and the spic showdown against those who believe they can control her. They’re sorely mistaken. It’s epic and demands to be read.

Diva Book Nerd

Craw gets everything right. The action is exhilarating, the reveals are shocking, the quiet moments are poignant, and the emotional highs and lows are powerful and lasting.

Children's Books Daily

Rachael’s books are young adult sci-fi at its best and they can stand proud beside the likes of Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.

My Best Friends are Books

Stray was a fantastic sequel. It was everything Spark was, and more. Basically, this book was just perfect.

Cassie the Weird

Stray is a tightly-written progression from Spark that climaxes with a bloodied, gut-wrenching finale that promises to leave you looking at the final few chapters through blurry eyes. Shield, the final book in the trilogy, promises to be one hell of a ride.

Liz McShane

I loved Spark, so I had high expectations for Stray: these Rachael Craw has met and exceeded. Fiercely emotional and compelling, Stray left me desperate for the series finale, Shield.

Imaginary Misadventure

This is a series which keeps getting better with each instalment. The characters evolve and the plot gets more exciting with each chapter.

Fictional Thoughts

in this second installment of the trilogy, Rachael Craw has once again blown me away with her awesome storytelling skills and creating a plot which is action-packed and dynamic from the word go

Genie in a Book

Stray is a fly-through-the-pages thriller. Forget about the real world: the one Rachel Craw compels you to explore will grab you by the throat and won’t let you go till the last page. Un-put-down-able.

Kids' Book Review

The writing style was on point, and I read this book a lot faster than I had anticipated – gobbling it down whenever I could. I love how engaging and fast-paced it is. It’s wonderful

Books for a Delicate Eternity

Spark managed some surprising revelations and Stray continues in this vein, with twists and turns aplenty.

Nicole Has Read

What I love about this series is that it shows sci-fi doesn’t have to be dense – it can be fun and character-driven and sassy and dangerous and action-packed and NOT boring at all.

Loony Literate

Intense, desperate, exhilarating, intriguing, dark, action-packed and complex, Stray will rattle your nerves and will certainly cause sparks!

Book Nerd Reviews

I think Book 2 is just as strong (or stronger) than the first book — somewhat of a rarity in YA trilogies.

Striking Keys

As far as sequels go, ‘Stray’ is at the top of the pile. It expanded the world of ‘Spark’ beautifully, with heightened tension, a ton of character development, and some truly lovely writing.

The Golden Adventures of a Very Dark Horse

This sequel was one of the better sequels that flows right on from where Spark (first book) finishes. The fast paced action and adventure keeps you hanging until the next chapter.


I love Spark and Stray exceeded my expectations!

Row Reads

I foresee so much awesomeness in the final book. I NEED IT.

Paper Fury

It’s science fiction done RIGHT.

Once Upon a Bookish Time

Craw has created a story that will really appeal to teens who have previously enjoyed Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Kathy Reichs’ Virals or Ally Condie’s Matched. I really enjoyed reading it and I am looking forward to seeing how the final book plays out!

The Book Kat

Stray is the second in an excellent trilogy by New Zealand author Rachael Craw. Some minor criticisms don’t stop me from highly recommending the series.

Otago Daily Times

Top 10 2015 Reads

Children's Books Daily

This story finishes on a positive note, and the possiblity of a sequel.


The writing style was on point, and I read this book a lot faster than I had anticipated – gobbling it down whenever I could. I love how engaging and fast-paced it is. It’s wonderful

Delicate Eternity


New Zealand Book Awards, Children’s Choice Young Adult
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