This is without a doubt one of the best standalone fantasy novels I’ve read in 2020. Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings is a lusciously dark and mysterious story that follows Bettany Scott as she tries to find answers to the disappearances of her father and brothers.
The premise itself is so unique. The story takes place in three enchanting, beautiful neighboring towns where a series of strange, inexplicable events occur. The world-building was stunning; the setting had this fever dream-like feel to it that made everything feel both surreal and perfectly normal at the same time.
If this book were to have a film adaptation, Jennings would give even the most skilled filmmakers a run for their money trying to capture the unreliable and dream-like ambiance of the novel.
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 departure.
A 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 bottles.
In these pages Jennings assures you that gothic delights, uncanny family horror, and strange, unsettling prose can live—and even thrive—under a burning sun.
I loved how the narration style was at once poignant, whimsical, and terrifyingly gothic–this might be a fantasy novel, but don’t be surprised if certain chapters raise goosebumps on your skin. The characters were beautifully fleshed out; I especially loved being in Bettany’s head and watching her struggle as she tried to reconcile what she knew to be true against what she had been made to believe for the sake of her sanity. The ending has a jaw-dropping reveal that wrapped up the main plot while still leaving some mysteries to the imagination of the reader.
Mostly though, I just loved how captivating and immersive this book is. This is the kind of fantasy that will transport you away into a world full of dark magic, mysteries, blood, and superstition. 10./10 would recommend this to anyone who loves a good fantasy novel that truly indulges your imagination.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of this review. Thank you, Macmillan and Netgalley for sending me this ARC.
#Flyaway #KathleenJennings #Netgalley