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Gordon, Kate: Thyla.

** GORDON, Kate Thyla Random House, 2011 278pp $17.95 pbk ISBN 9781864718812 SCIS 1500837

Not so much a werewolf as a thylacine story, Thyla starts with a girl who has lost her memory. Tessa is found in the Tasmanian bush, unconscious, scarred and nameless. She is taken under the wing of the policewoman who found her and sent to a girls' school, where she soon discovers others who are not what they first appear. Tessa has scars on her back like stripes, and over the weeks of the story, those stripes darken and deepen, just like the animal we have suspected is her fate. After events which divide the people at the school into two parties, Tessa becomes what we have expected--a shape-shifting Thyla, a large, wild thylacine. These goodies, Thylas, are up against a mob of people who eat their hearts, the Diemens, and in order to prevent their victory, the Thylas have to teem up with another group of shape-shifters, the Sarcos. Also, keep in mind Thylas and Sarcos are immortal. And so are their enemies.

Gordon's imagination is prodigious, and runs away with her sometimes. Tessa takes too long to wake up to herself, and there are also portentous moments that seem slightly ridiculous. Thyla is the first of a series, with the next episode, Vulpi, coming soon.

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Author:Lees, Stella
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2011
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