Review: Donna Augustine's The Wilds (The Wilds#1)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 348
About century and a half ago, a destructive disease called Bloodfever decimated human kind, leaving behind few lucky ones who didn’t get infected, and the ones who survived the sickness, but their survival was anything but a happy circumstance. Dal is one of the survivors, called Plaguers, and the fact she managed to survive this horrifying illness earned her a one way ticket to an insane asylum at the age of 4, because an aftereffect of the illness is an ability to see things that are not supposed to be there, and events and secrets that would best be left hidden. Fourteen years later, Dal gets a chance to escape the terrors of asylum but who is to say what lies behind the walls is better?

Overall, the book was a good one. No it didn’t rock my world, but I was pleasantly surprised at some things, especially the character building for Dal, the main female character. She is a blend of naivety and some dose if innocence, due to her life isolated from the “normal” world, and wisdom and strength, which she was force to gain to be able to survive in the asylum. Especially adorable part is how those two sides of the character collide in her understanding of the world that she gets from the books she read, using the information on life she got from books in her naïve, utterly misplaced manner.
What I liked is that the characters didn’t seem forced and too unnatural, as is often the case with YA books. Yes, the guy (Dax) was a distant badass, but it wasn’t overdone, and the fact that author didn’t try so bad to emphasize it, made it that much more believable and realistic. Even the romance bit, which really wasn’t overwhelming, was realistic, as in- she was attracted to him, even though she couldn’t really find a way to channel it properly, but it wasn’t an over-the-top feral attraction of star-crossed lovers which I see in books much more than I would like.

I think this book was just meant to get us hooked, so I don’t mind the fact that many of the main questions are unanswered and that the answers we have may be a bit blurry, because that is a great thing when you know that there is going to be another book, so there’s no need for rush, and the first book should be about getting to know the world and the main characters, while leaving something for the sequels, like further development of other characters, their background stories, and finding out the more about a world that is seemingly a mystery even to the characters living in it.
The part that was a thumbs down moment for me was at the very end, when we find out that *MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD*
Dax is actually a man that transforms to a beast, which is a scenario so overused and, frankly, in this setting- very unnecessary, but, even though I did roll my eyes at that bit, I’m still intrigued by further development of this story in the sequel.

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