Wilders by Brenda Cooper
Pyr Books: 6/13/17
eBook review copy; 367 pages
Wilders by Brenda Cooper
is a highly recommended coming-of-age dystopian science fiction novel.
In the near future cities have expanded to megacities that take care of
most of the populations every need. The land outside the cities is set
aside for wilding, or returning it to a natural state, sans humans with
the exception of those hired in the capacity to assist returning nature
to a natural balance. Coryn Williams and her sister Lou grew up in
a merging of Seattle and Vancouver.
parents' suicides, Lou was hired to join a rewilding
crew and left the city. She left Coryn behind at an orphanage,
occasional sending her bland emails about the beauty she sees in the
wild. Once Coryn becomes of age, she chooses to leave the city with
Paula, her companion robot, to look for her sister.
Outside the city's dome, the world is much different and more
treacherous than Lou let on. Coryn is in almost constant peril of being
harmed, robbed, and having Paula stolen from her. Even the weather,
uncontrolled outside the city dome, is dangerous and unpredictable.
While it seems that most people outside can't be trusted, Coryn manages
to press on, meets a few people who may be friends, and she eventually
does find Lou; but everything Lou wrote about outside to Coryn doesn't
seem to reflect the reality of the life Lou is living. There is also
some risky plan and private agenda between Lou and some people Coryn
knows are evil. The only problem is that no one, not even Lou, trusts
her enough to tell her what is going on.
This is the first book in a future series. Admittedly, I enjoyed Wilders considerably,
although it felt like it was a whole lot longer than 367 pages while I
was reading it. Part of the issue is that even though the plot has
interesting little scenes or hooks in it to propel you forward with
bursts of speed, the action is rather slow moving. Once you keep
reading, not all the interesting bits are fully explained and the world
building is a little lacking.
You need to set aside certain expectations and roll with the narrative
in this case. The story flows smoothly, and we reach a conclusion of
sorts, but obviously more books in the series will mean more information
about the city, etc. Coryn is an interesting character and there are
several other interesting characters along the way. Now, we don't get to
know too much about any of them, except Coryn, but I'd imagine future
books will flesh out people more completely. Wilders reads like a YA title and would be highly suitable for that audience. This is a nice start to a new series.
My review copy was courtesy of Pyr Books.