Review: Thyla by Kate Gordon (Thyla Book #1)

Thyla is the first book in a series by Kate Gordon. Found in the bush, no memory, just a name. Oh, and some scars. Rating: 2.5/5

*This is book #6/75 for my 2013 book challenge. You can take a look at my different reading challenges here.

I’d like to first take a second to thank Carina and the Goodreads group Rated YA-MA for hosting Thyla as a traveling book. I really loved seeing everyone’s (snarky) comments in the margins, and I can’t wait to pass the book off to other members!

“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 outback, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory; not even of how I got the long slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember. The policewoman, Connolly, found me; and placed me; in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the outback. 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.”

A thrilling paranormal tale of shapeshifting, a centuries-old war, and finding out who you really are when your memories betray you.

I must say, my feelings toward this book were totally flip-floppy the entire time I was reading it. The only way I can explain my final thoughts are wishy washy. I started out super confused, and completely turned off be the narration and the main character, Tess. My feelings about this didn’t really change. The diary point of view became increasingly annoying as time went on, and I felt myself getting so fed up with Tess and her choices that I didn’t want to keep reading. Yet, I did keep reading. Why? Because the plot was so ridiculously interesting to me. Here is a girl, someone who is clearly very intelligent, old-fashioned seeming, and obviously not human, that woke up in the bush one day and couldn’t remember anything before that very moment. I had already figured out what was going on with her on page 15. That’s a testament to how unoriginal the author was with her writing. The descriptions were so…. vague and boring. Almost like she was too lazy to actually creatively come up with anything on her own. She gave us as little information as she possibly could, which was quite little. Come the end of the book I still had no idea what actually happened with TessConnollyor Cat. While she tried to explain away Tessa’s memory loss, it was such a cop out. I was quite disappointed with the entire thing.

I must say, the cliff-hangers were wonderful, as were the length of the chapters. I’ve noticed, when chapters are shorter I tend to read longer. I also liked that she used actual landmarks in her story. One Goodreads reviewer posted photos from these landmarks in her review, which added to my reading experience. The second book is supposed to be continuing the story, but will not be in Tessa’s point of view, and that really turns me off to the entire thing. There was just so many things left open ended, and it all seemed so rushed. Had the author just added another 50-100 pages the entire story could have been wrapped up and I wouldn’t have to drag myself through a sequel. With that said, there were a few shining moments. A few shining supporting characters. And a potential love interest. So. There’s that.

If you’re interested, the sequel to this book is called Vulpi. If you read it, let me know what you think in the comments!

Rating: two and a half

If you’re interested in reading my GoodReads updates from this book you can do so here. I must say, they’re quite entertaining. It will tell you exactly what I was thinking on certain pages.

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