Author: Kate Gordon
Released: 1 April 2011
Source: Boomerang Books Critics Club
Reviewed by: Sapphired Dragon
Sapphired Dragon rating : *****
Synopsis via Goodreads
My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain.
I was found in the bush, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory – not even of how I got the long, striping slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember.
The policewoman, Connolly, found me a place in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the bush.
I think there is a connection between Cat, me, and the strange things going on at this school. If I can learn Cat’s story, I might discover my own – and stop it happening again.(less)
This novel’s mystery had me hooked from the first page. Actually I think I was hooked from the moment I read the back of the book and the acknowledgements at the beginning and the story did not disappoint. In fact I was so hooked that I finished this story in less than a day and after reading some during my lunch break, seriously thought about not going back to work and finishing the story there and then instead.
I had some theories of what I thought it would be about but it became clear quite quickly that was way of the mark and that this was not a bad thing.
Set in Tasmania in the present day, the author Kate Gordon weaves colonial history and the supernatural in to a tale that exquisitely balances giving the reader enough information to move the story along at a good pace whilst simultaneously keep turning the pages in an effort to find out who Tess is and how it ties with the rest of the story. It has an uniquely Australian feel to it and Gordon uses legends of the area to make this more authentic.
Written in the first person, I loved reading through the perspective of a girl who can remember her name, how to read and much of the history of her city but doesn’t remember things like cars, or television or waffles. I felt her bewilderment as she struggled through situations where she just didn’t remember how she was supposed to act or what something was and felt her frustration as the things she knew just didn’t add up.
I also loved the supernatural aspect of this tale. It starts off subtle and so surprises as you read more. I won’t say more than that as I think not knowing too much about the story really added to the enjoyment of it.
Long story short, if you a a fan of a good Australian speculative or YA story or even just a good speculative or YA from any country, then I thoroughly recommend this novel.
I have no hesitation giving this book 5 stars.