Magical realism: Read an extract from The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon

Magical realism: Read an extract from The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon

Chapter 1:  The End

And so, it was. This was it. The end. Twig couldn’t look at those eyes. Or the arm aiming. It didn’t tremble, that arm. Not even a bit. Neither did Twig. ‘Go on. Do it then. I dare you.’
And the whole world exploded.
Wherever he was, it was dark. Deep dark. The thick, heavy dark that claws at your throat and scratches at your eyes. The kind of dark that picks you up and tosses you around and holds you close and whispers promises and pulls you apart. And just as Twig no longer knew if he even still existed, a neon sign burst into life and stilled him in its light.

WELCOME TO THE AFTERLIFE!

‘Oh.’

That was the only word he could think of for quite some time.

The sign was broken. It made that fizzing, static sound that a loose connection makes, and the bulbs behind some of the letters flickered, spat and gave up. Without the bulbs, the sign now read WE COME TO LIFE!

Twig shuddered and gave the sign a cautious poke. A whole string of lights blossomed around him, glittering and twinkling along the edges of an old cobblestoned path that stretched and twisted into the darkness. They made Twig think of the time they had all wrapped fairy lights along the graves between the shacks and bought fish and chips and—

And the crows dive in for the chips and ‘Here’s to us! We’re the Beasts of the City Wilds!’ and we all race to the top of the gargoyle tomb so we can look out over everything that’s ours . . .

The memory was like a snatch of dream, refusing to stand still. The more Twig tried to grab hold, the more his thoughts dimmed and fuzzed at the edges. He rubbed at his arms and wished he was in more than just his shorts and T-shirt. It wasn’t the warmth he wanted, but the security of being wrapped tight. He peered into the dark stretching from the path.

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Reviews

The big issues: Read a review of The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon

Review | Our Review

28 July 2020

The big issues: Read a review of The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon

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Synopsis

Loyalty is tested, and a cruel twist of fate leads to an act of ultimate betrayal in this epic story that spans a city, a decade, and the divide between life and death itself.Twig is all alone after his dad goes missing. But when he meets Flea, a cheerful pickpocket, the pair become fast friends. Together, Twig and Flea raise themselves on the crime-ridden streets, taking what they need and giving the rest to the even-poorer. Life is good, as long as they have each other.But then Twig wakes up in the Afterlife. With just a handful of vague memories, a key, a raven, and a mysterious atlas to guide him, he tries to piece together what happened, and to find his way home . . .A powerful story of hope and friendship from the award-winning author of The Bone Sparrow.
Zana Fraillon
About the author

Zana Fraillon

Zana Fraillon was born in Melbourne, but spent her early childhood in San Francisco.Zana has written two picture books for young children, a series for middle readers, and a novel for older readers based on research and accounts of survivors of the Forgotten Generation. She spent a year in China teaching English and now lives in Melbourne with her three sons, husband and two dogs.When Zana isn't reading or writing, she likes to explore the museums and hidden passageways scattered across Melbourne. They provide the same excitement as that moment before opening a new book - preparing to step into the unknown where a whole world of possibilities awaits.

Books by Zana Fraillon

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