Kate Gordon

Random House

Thyla book coverISBN: 9781864718812

RRP: April, 2011

Age : 12+

Key Words: paranormal fiction, historical fiction, mystery

 Published: Random House 

Reviewer: Donna Clark

This book is set in the lushness of the Tasmanian landscape. A wild girl is found in the wilderness with no memory, other than her name, Tessa. She has a feeling that she has a connection to another missing girl but she can’t explain this feeling. She is befriended by the local cop Connelly whose daughter went missing and wants to help her find answers to the disappearance. Connelly arranges for Tessa to attend the local boarding school and it is there that she meets some very strange and hostile characters as well as a few friends. She is drawn into the weird, unpopular group as she talks like she is from another time and does not know a lot about the present. Strange things happen at the school and the tension builds up. Tessa feels very alone, and does not know who to trust as events unfold that have no explanation.

This book grabbed me from the beginning, with its creepy characters and the historical connection to the female factories and convicts in Tasmania. This book was inspired by the Cascades Female Factory and Kate Gordon has done her research and knows how to draw the reader in. It is a real page turner. As the first book, it will be exciting to see how the second novel, “Vulpi”, unfolds.

Students who like historical fiction or paranormal fiction and shape-shifting will be drawn to this book.

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