Book Review: Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings

Flyaway: Jennings, Kathleen: 9781250260499: Books

Title: Flyaway

Author: Kathleen Jennings

Genre: Fantasy Novella

Number of Pages: 176

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

Tor novellas seems to usually be high-quality, and this was no exceptions. It’s crazy weird, but in a good way. Flyaway is a gothic Australian dark fantasy story with a fairy tale vibe. It’s told from the perspective of a strange young woman named Bettina, who seems to be being brainwashed by her propriety-obsessed mother. Bettina has a dark past that she can’t quite seem to remember, and when she comes to believe that she’s been contacted by her long-missing brothers, she has to find a way to break away from the matriarch who controls her life.

This book had loads of imagination. It made me want to find out what parts of the book were really based on Australian folklore. There was lots of creepy stuff in this, but I think the shapeshifting dog creature took the cake. There were a lot of interconnected stories contained in a short book and as a result I found it pretty confusing at times, and I didn’t know how different things fit together or whether they were even supposed to.

I also had a hard time keeping the side characters and family relationships straight. The ending was a little disappointing, it was missing… something. Maybe the ‘a-ha!’ moment where things come together. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this novella and it’s atmospheric combination of family/coming-of-age drama and the uncanny.

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