Kindle Edition Ç Flyaway eBook É

2 stars While Kathleen Jennings is an undeniably wonderful illustrator, I m afraid that I wasn t particularly impressed by her novella What first struck me as somewhat discordant in Flyaway was the prose itself At times the writing was clunky and there were passages that seemed as if they were trying to echo someone else s style The way Flyaway started was also incredibly reminiscent of my favourite novel by Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle While in Jackson s novel 2 stars While Kathleen Jennings is an undeniably wonderful illustrator, I m afraid that I wasn t particularly impressed by her novella What first struck me as somewhat discordant in Flyaway was the prose itself At times the writing was clunky and there were passages that seemed as if they were trying to echo someone else s style The way Flyaway started was also incredibly reminiscent of my favourite novel by Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle While in Jackson s novel the ambiguity felt almost natural , Flyway seems to be blaring its own mysteriousness Our narrator, Bettina I had to check her name, that s how unforgettable she is has this excessively creepy monologue which consists in her repeating to herself her mother s ladylike beliefs rules Bettina cannot remember why her father disappeared She isn t concerned by her hazy memories until she receives a letter that for plot reasons convinces her to embark on a road trip with her former best friends Quite a few people have disappeared in their small town, and these three decide to figure out what s going on Interspersed in this already short story are chapters about minor characters who are connected to the town and its mystery.The characters were mere names and lacked personality Bettina s narration isn t nearly as ambivalent as it believes, the various stories were both boring and predictable, and I simply could not get into the flow of Jennings dissonant writing style.Readreviews on my blog View all my reviews on Goodreads We tend to associate dark fiction with literal darkness with shadows, haunted houses, twilight apparitions and things that go bump in the night Similarly, the North , with its long winter nights and its mythology of fairies, trolls and diverse monsters, seemsattuned to conventional supernatural fiction than the Southern Hemisphere.But just as Ari Aster s movie Midsommar showed us that there can be dark horror in the unending daylight of a Nordic summer, Kathleen Jennings beguiling We tend to associate dark fiction with literal darkness with shadows, haunted houses, twilight apparitions and things that go bump in the night Similarly, the North , with its long winter nights and its mythology of fairies, trolls and diverse monsters, seemsattuned to conventional supernatural fiction than the Southern Hemisphere.But just as Ari Aster s movie Midsommar showed us that there can be dark horror in the unending daylight of a Nordic summer, Kathleen Jennings beguiling debut Flyway successfully challenges tradition by transplanting tropes of Gothic, fantasy and supernatural fiction to an Australian context The novel la is set in a small rural settlement in Western Queensland in the recent past early to mid nineties, judging by the references to early internet and mobile phones The main storyline is narrated by nineteen year old Bettina Scott, although between each chapter there are short interludes fairytale like stories within stories narrated by other characters Bettina, we learn, was a feisty teenager, but since the sudden disappearance of her father and two brothers a few years back, she has lived a secluded life under the zealous protection of her mother Nerida One day, she receives a mysterious message which suggests that her brothers might still be alive With the help of two old friends, Gary and Trish, she sets out on a modern day quest, to find her brothers and, in the process, discover hidden truths about her family Admittedly, Flyaway takes some time getting into Jennings does not spell out things for the reader and the first few chapters of the novel felt somewhat disorienting However, the narrative is well worth the initial effort and as things start falling into place, it gets increasingly gripping A small hint it helps to keep some notes about the different characters and the families they belong to as in any self respecting Gothic work, surnames arethan just identifiers A thrilling blend of Gothic mystery, modern fairytale and folk horror, Kathleen Jennings Flyaway proves that a cattle town in Australia can be as atmospheric and uncanny a setting as the magical forests of the North A dark family fairy tale steeped in monsters and magic Australian folk horror with a strong Shirley Jackson vibe Prose that lurks and bites and snatches at your ankles.It s so good, y all. Literally can t contain how excited I was to get my NetGalley approval for this one So perfect, can t wait Thank you to TOR via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. In a small Western Queensland town, a reserved young woman receives a note from one of her vanished brothers a note that makes question her memories of their disappearance and her father s departureA beguiling story that proves that gothic delights and uncanny family horror can live and even thrive under a burning sun, Flyaway introduces readers to Bettina Scott, whose search for the truth throws her into tales of eerie dogs, vanished schools, cursed monsters, and enchanted bottlesIn these pages Jennings assures you that gothic delights, uncanny family horror, and strange, unsettling prose can live and even thrive under a burning sunHolly Black describes as half mystery, half fairy tale, all exquisitely rendered and full of teeth Flyaway enchants you with the sly, beautiful darkness of Karen Russell and a world utterly its own A tale of small town claustrophobia, family strife and secrets, and stories within stories, set against a backdrop of a uniquely Australian landscape so vivid you can smell the dust and eucalyptus. There aren t any stories except the ones we bring with us, Trish Aberdeen used to say, stamping into the long grass after school, as if she wanted it to be true as if she didn t keep thinking she d seen wolves and tigers stalking her in the scrub Gary Damson, who knew better, who suspected Trish knew better too, would hold his tongue.Because even if she was right, something had to happen to all the stories no one wanted Histories and memories that had been taken into the trees, beyond the There aren t any stories except the ones we bring with us, Trish Aberdeen used to say, stamping into the long grass after school, as if she wanted it to be true as if she didn t keep thinking she d seen wolves and tigers stalking her in the scrub Gary Damson, who knew better, who suspected Trish knew better too, would hold his tongue.Because even if she was right, something had to happen to all the stories no one wanted Histories and memories that had been taken into the trees, beyond the fences and roads those seams of the world from which reason and civilisation leak and abandoned Flyaway is the debut by Kathleen Jennings, a writer and illustrator from Australia I was unaware of this novella until receiving a surprise signed copy from the publisher The cover certainly caught my eye, which I later learned was done by Jennings herself.I tend to be quite hit or miss with fairy tale fantasies Unfortunately, Flyaway isof the latter.The protagonist, Bettina Scott, is 19 when we meet her Her father and two brothers, Mitch and Chris, disappeared three years prior one night Living with her controlling mother in the peaceful town of Runagate, Bettina is quiet and reserved She wasn t always, however In fact, she was quite rebellious After her brothers vanished, many changes have been observed in Bettina by her childhood friends, Gary and Trish They ve stopped speaking, until she receives a mysterious letter indicating that one, or both, of her brothers may still be alive Recruiting the two friends to help her, Bettina goes on a strange journey to uncover the truth.Alternating between fairy tales that are nestled throughout present day chapters, Flyaway is reminiscent of A Little Princess withthan a few Alice in Wonderland vibes One story I loved as a kid, the other I loathed Much like my feelings towards this slim novella.This is one of those stories where the atmosphere ismemorable than the characters The imagery is lush and gorgeous, vivid and immersive However, I am a character reader first As much as I love a moody atmosphere, there needs to be characters that populate the book with some substance to keep me interested Not one character in Flyaway felt fleshed out, not even Bettina.Jennings is a talented artist I m a sucker for artwork, especially within the books Along with the eye catching cover, Flyaway has some absolutely lovely chapter header images They suit the Gothic Mythology Fairytale magic, for sure.Although the style didn t do it for me, I m certain that this will find the right audience Those who adore contemporary folklore and extravagant prose may be just that.YMMVThanks to Tor.com Publishing for sending me a surprise copy The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication Bettina has grown up in a small town in Australia where people seem to just up and disappear She s a young woman who has had good manners and decorum drummed into her by her somewhat aloof mother Her father left them and even her two brothers disappeared but Bettina has very little recollection of the circumstances until a note turns up Bettina has shied away from others in town knowing her mother expects her to always be ladylike but she needs answers and finally reaches out but what she dis Bettina has grown up in a small town in Australia where people seem to just up and disappear She s a young woman who has had good manners and decorum drummed into her by her somewhat aloof mother Her father left them and even her two brothers disappeared but Bettina has very little recollection of the circumstances until a note turns up Bettina has shied away from others in town knowing her mother expects her to always be ladylike but she needs answers and finally reaches out but what she discovers changes everything.This jumps about and it is almost as if the author wants her readers to be confused Chapters about side characters, supporting characters with their own weird experiences and then there s the disconcerting sense of something watching, ready to gobble characters up If blunt it took me a while to really like Bettina but as the story progressed and it became apparent that her memories were clouded I did havesympathy for her I did like the explanation but still feel the ending lacked quite a lot Still if you are looking for a creepy, short read then I m sure many will enjoy working out exactly what is going on.This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair A solid three stars for me because it did eventually pick up.Disclaimer this book was SUPER confusing in the beginning The very first chapter quite literally put me to sleep because it was entirely descriptions of a town Nothing felt coherent at ALL in the beginning Personally not my favorite books to read in general.I think the thing to keep in mind of what this book is actually about small town in the middle of nowhere where creepy cryptid esque creatures are afoot and the main character A solid three stars for me because it did eventually pick up.Disclaimer this book was SUPER confusing in the beginning The very first chapter quite literally put me to sleep because it was entirely descriptions of a town Nothing felt coherent at ALL in the beginning Personally not my favorite books to read in general.I think the thing to keep in mind of what this book is actually about small town in the middle of nowhere where creepy cryptid esque creatures are afoot and the main character is a girl who doesn t remember what actually happened to her missing dad and brothers and tries to discover the truth Some of the chapters are stories about the creatures and seem random but everything gets tied together.It was a really short read but the beginning was heavily weighed down with lengthy descriptions that I skimmed over and a ton of confusion and lack of a coherent narrative It does, eventually, start making a little bit of tense, and gets a bit compelling as you try to figure out what happened, and then it ends I can t say I really liked it all that much, it kind of read as a short story meant to be like a creepy fairytale whereas I was expecting full novel so I think this is a read that would depend heavily on personal preferences and mood Thank you so much for the ARC Macmillan To Forge, this sounds like something I m going to love I can t wait to read it Flyaway is a beautifully written, creepy, and atmospheric story Gorgeous imagery is the backdrop is this creepy tale The story is rooted in the mystery of Bettina s yearning to find her father And when she receives a mysterious letter, she must figure out the truth of her story The story was very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman with elements of magical realism, where monsters an Thank you so much for the ARC Macmillan To Forge, this sounds like something I m going to love I can t wait to read it Flyaway is a beautifully written, creepy, and atmospheric story Gorgeous imagery is the backdrop is this creepy tale The story is rooted in the mystery of Bettina s yearning to find her father And when she receives a mysterious letter, she must figure out the truth of her story The story was very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman with elements of magical realism, where monsters and magic appeared on the page Where the reader unearths family secrets that have long since been buried and encounter with creepy creatures that one wouldn t want to meet in the dark, it is an immersive read that pulls you into the world, and like the characters, you have to claw your way out Flyaway


About the Author: Kathleen Jennings

Kathleen Jennings is an illustrator and writer based in Brisbane, Australia As an illustrator, she has been shortlisted three times for the World Fantasy Awards, once for the Hugos, and once for the Locus Awards, as well as winning a number of Ditmars As a writer, she has won two Ditmars and been shortlisted for the Eugie Foster Memorial Award and for several Aurealis Awards.


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