Eta Draconis


Elora is leaving her hometown for university. Leaving behind friends, family, and safety to follow her dream of studying theatre while she still has the chance.

Together, Elora and her older sister, Vivienne, set out by road for the city and the upcoming semester. The relationship between them is fractured and fading, turned upside down by Eta Draconis: the violent meteor shower that has rained across Earth since the beginning of their adolescence. In a land scarred by craters and shockwaves, to travel anywhere is to risk everything. As the showering intensifies and their way forward becomes threatened, the sisters are forced to confront their relationship and recalibrate their hopes for the future. Do they return home or press on in the face of the meteors? Can life ever be normal with the world crashing down all around you?

Eta Draconis is an epic story about two resilient sisters who are determined to live their life in a world on the brink of destruction. Winner of the 2022 Dorothy Hewett Award and on The Children’s Book Council of Australia 2024 Book of the Year Awards Notables List, Brendan Ritchie’s Eta Draconis is timely, hopeful and full of suspense.

Teaching notes by UWA Publishing



It’s a tense tale of two young women coping with constant and implacable threat, daring to imagine a future for themselves in a world where precarity reigns.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Fiction Book of the Week

Throughout, Ritchie ably builds both the authenticity of his world and the tension of his plot, but it’s the emotional acuity of this complex sisterly bond that’s the novel’s clear highlight.

Gemma Nisbet, The West Australian

Eta Draconis is very much a novel of the present, one which, without entirely upending the coming-of-age novel, engages with how younger people will live in a dying world and, to one degree or another, find hope.

J.R. Burgmann, Australian Book Review

Eta Draconis is tense and urgent … a poetic coming-of-age story for readers who enjoy realistic dystopian fiction.

Danielle Bagnato, Books + Publishing

The novel’s most moving passages are those that vindicate what I take to be its central theme: a defence of the role of art in a world on the brink of catastrophe.

Ned Hirst, ArtsHub

Eta Draconis brilliantly questions how we deal with life-altering change on a global scale. How Elora and Vivienne keep moving when all is seemingly lost is ultimately a story for our time.

Duncan Strachan, Kill Your Darlings

Fresh and original, ETA DRACONIS is a powerful coming-of-age story – about personal resilience in the face of fear and hope in the face of a threatened planet. Brendan Ritchie is an excellent writer.

Holden Sheppard

A frightening Australian dystopia, beautifully rendered.

AJ Betts

A poetic and compelling novel for the COVID moment.

Dorothy Hewett Award judges

More Info

ISBN: 9781760802615

Format: Paperback

Pages: 250

Publisher: UWA Publishing

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