Karanda has passed through 5 foster homes, and it’s not exactly clear why. But the thing is, her behaviour has been getting worse over time. She’s snarky and completely wary of people – so when she gets the desert all to herself, it seems like the best thing for her. Sol is used to being abandoned – in fact, if you were to count foster homes, he’s been through more than her! But he craves human contact – and Karanda is all he has left.
There is a lot of ‘Auzzie’-ness in this novel that is going to appeal to locals and overseas people alike. Who doesn’t love cute possums? Something that I felt was an inconsistency was how Karanda’s blood lust rose and fell. Is it just the environment, the challenges, allowing her to cry? It doesn’t seem like something she does very often.
Even as their lives entwine, Sol and Karanda have a past together that only one of them knows. The thing that got me going was that I didn’t know what colour their skins were – I assume Caucasian – but it didn’t matter to them. The adversity exposes their secrets, even if all the reader usually hears is from Karanda’s perspective.
It urked me that the author kept referring to Sol and Karanda as ‘children’. Both of them have seen enough of life to no longer be considered children in my mind, and most of their behaviour was as adult-like as it could be in the situation. Otherwise they simply wouldn’t survive.
The ending was very satisfying, right in line with the rest of the novel. What I enjoyed best was that things were never predictable. I fully felt that one of them could die at any point, they could starve, they could die from infection. It adds a bit of spice to a novel which could otherwise because just another bush-survival tale, just pointed at children.
Did I think it was coincidence about the helicopter coming at that point in time? No. Now that I think about it, it’s obvious that it is the natural events going on, not the two kids. And the car? I don’t even know.
Was I blown away by this? Not really. But for the right audience? For sure. It’s pleasurable, light reading. 3-stars for adult readers, a generous 4 for it’s designated audience of younger teens.