Deborah Sheldon's Thylacines was published by Severed Press in January 2018.
Information about Deborah Sheldon:
Deborah Sheldon is an author of dark fiction and crime and is based in Melbourne.
Her fiction has appeared in various magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, SQ Mag, and Midnight Echo, as well as in many anthologies. Latest releases, all traditionally published, include the horror novel, 'Devil Dragon', the crime-noir novellas, 'Dark Waters' and 'Ronnie and Rita', the crime-themed collection, 'Mayhem: selected stories', and the horror collection, 'Perfect Little Stitches and other stories'. Other credits include TV scripts; stage and radio plays; feature articles; non-fiction books; and award-winning medical writing.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Thylacines:
The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was hunted to extinction some eighty years ago. Now, Professor Rosie Giuliani and her staff at The Resurrection Lab have done the impossible: created a living, breathing litter from a preserved specimen. Yet Rosie can’t share this scientific breakthrough with the world. The cloned animals are more like monsters than thylacines. By chance, a small band of activists hears about the caged litter, and their decision to free the tigers will unleash a deadly havoc upon the campus of Fraser University.
A REVIEW OF DEBORAH SHELDON'S THYLACINES
Wow, what a nice surprise this novella was! I was totally surprised by it, because it's highly entertaining. It's been a while since I've read this kind of horror fiction in such a good and intriguing format.
Deborah Sheldon's Thylacines is a gritty and well written horror novella about resurrected thylacines. It has a distinct B-monster-movie feel to it that makes it irresistible for horror fans who crave for something entertaining to read. In certain ways, it's similar to Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, but differs from it.
Because there may be readers out there who are not familiar with thylacines, I think it's good to say a few words about them. The thylacines (Thylacinus cynocephalus) were the largest known carnivorous marsupials of modern times. They were native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. They were hunted to extinction during the 1930s. (More information about the thylacines can easily be found on the internet.)
In this novella, Deborah Sheldon blends biological and scientific in an enjoyable way. She has written a thrilling story about what happens when thylacines break out of the laboratory and start to kill people.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
Professor Rosie Giuliani and her staff members at the Resurrection Lab are worrying about their funding, because a North American company, Clout Energy Drinks, may not want to sponsor them. They've managed to create a living litter of thylacines, but nobody outside the lab knows that the created animals are a bit off... Meanwhile, an animal liberation group consisting of George, Hannah and Llewellyn is about to break into the Lab and set the animals free...
This marks the beginning of an action-packed horror story with plenty of entertainment values.
Although this novella is relatively short, the characterisation works well and the female characters are satisfyingly strong. The author has created a surprisingly intriguing cast of characters that ranges from Rosie Giuliani and her staff members to the animal rights activists and Bill De Vries, who is the company accountant for Clout Energy Drinks. I especially enjoyed reading about Professor Rosie Giuliani, Senior Constable Janine O'Connell and Bill De Vries, because they're well-created characters.
The resurrected thylacines are fascinating animals, because they are not like the extincts ones, but bigger, faster, more intelligent and much more dangerous than them. They're killers and they like human flesh. What makes them especially intriguing is that they seem to be capable of communicating in a mysterious way that can't be explained.
The author explores well how important securing a funding for a science project is, because it's impossible to do certain things without funds. She also writes fluently about what happens when things go badly wrong and people have to deal with a dangerous and unexpected situation that should not have happened.
It's interesting that the author touches upon the theme of animal rights in this novella, because it would've been easy to dismiss it. I also want to mention that I find the author's way of writing action scenes scenes excellent, because she keeps things in motion and effortlessly maintains an exciting atmosphere.
This story has a satisfying amount of graphic and gruesome scenes ranging from flesh being eaten to skulls being smashed by strong jaws. I think that those who are intrigued by this kind of scenes will be pleased with them, because the author doesn't shy away from violence.
Because I enjoyed this novella and found it highly entertaining, I give it strong 4.5 stars on the scale from 1 to 5 stars. Its charming B-movie feel impressed me, because readers will immediately know what they'll get from it when they begin to read it. The author delivers a good and exciting story that will thrill readers.
My final words are:
Deborah Sheldon's Thylacines is a small gem awaiting to be discovered by horror readers who love entertaining and well written stories. It's one of the best novellas of its kind, because it's pure horror entertainment from start to finish.