(Tor.com) is a rich and simmering stew of vivid images, psychological tension, and dashes of horror which conspire to create an original and startling tale. The convoluted and intertwining stories of several families will demand your full attention, as they spiral together closer and closer to the resolution.
Our unreliable narrator lives cloistered in the house with her adoring mother, in a small town in the wilds of the Australian outback. Tina, also called Tink, seems to have a calm and settled home life now that the wild males in the family vanished.
As the story evolves, we also learn that she calls her former best friends by their last names and generally sounds oddly stilted—as if she lived in the fifties, instead of present times. She seems unaware of pertinent facts, such as the possible murder of her father.
We’re kept guessing as to what suppressed memory has damaged Tina, and why her siblings and father, as well as other residents, have disappeared. Dark secrets lurk at the edge of narrative, to be inferred by her blind spots.
The history of three small towns, deep in the Australian outback, suggest that the wilderness of the land is inextricably woven into the lives of those who live there. In the midst of so much space, ironically, there is almost no escaping your family’s fate.
is a writer and illustrator in Brisbane, Australia.
Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the YA fantasy, Girl of Fire, the first in the Berona’s Quest series, and the historical fantasy Falcon series. You can follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor, or visit her website at gabriellemathieu.com.