I’ve been interviewing (by email not in person) the horror author Deb Sheldon for The Horror Tree and its women in horror month focus. I hadn’t read any of her fiction prior to this interview but I am an avid convert now!
I am currently reading her short story collection, Perfect Little Stitches– which is described on amazon as “Mysterious. Creepy. Disturbing.” It is all of that and more. The mermaid story is still resonanting with me, horrifyingly explicit but brilliant.
One of Aurealis Magazine’s Top Picks of 2017.
Nominated for the Aurealis Award “Best Collection 2017”.
Next up I will be reading her bio horror novella Thylacines which looks heart thumpingly exciting.
You can find out more about her fiction at – https://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com/
The full interview with Deb will be appearing on The Horror Tree later this month. https://horrortree.com/
I will post a shout out when it’s up to read.
Here’s my review for Thylacines:-
***** 5 stars
This bio-horror novella (122 pages) by Australian writer Deborah Sheldon, is a fast, pacy, adrenaline fuelled read which you can gobble up in a sitting or two. The author has clearly done her research into Thylacines aka Tasmanian Tigers or if you want to be cosier, Tassy Tigers and she deftly weaves this information into the narrative without making it a lecture. The striking cover gives you an idea of what Sheldon has in mind.
An older female scientist, (a well written character) has succeeded in bringing a litter of Thylacines back from extinction. This would give most people pause but not this crew. Whilst the animals are locked up in the lab they can’t do much damage. But (ironically) it is a trio of animal rights’ activists who by deciding to free T1-T6, end up being the first course on the menu. For these newly born Thylacines have significant differences to their ancestors. They are faster, fiercer, more intelligent, larger and with a taste for human flesh.
The action unfolds, contained within the university’s campus- as body parts fly and there are several tense scenes where the Thylacines are cornered and fight back. Each chapter ends on a cliff hanger in fact. Another strong female character leads the tiger chase, a local cop, pulling overtime, Janine and her trained police dog, Zeus. I was rooting for Zeus all the way. Go Zeus! An engaging and convincing partnership.
My only disappointment is that it’s a novella not a novel and the ending came really fast. I would have liked a longer played out denouement. Maybe there is a sequel in the offing?
If you liked Jurassic Park or any other novels in that vein, you’ll go for this novella. It’s the equivalent of a B movie on steroids. Have fun.