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Review by Riley

About Wilders

Coryn Williams has grown up in the megacity of Seacouver, where her every need is provided for—except satisfaction with her life. After her parents’ suicides, her sister Lou fled the city to work on a rewilding crew, restoring lands once driven to the brink of ecological disaster by humans to a more natural state. Finally of age, Coryn leaves the city with her companion robot to look for her sister.

But the outside world is not what she expects—it is rougher and more dangerous, and while some people help her, some resent the city and some covet her most precious resource: her companion robot. As Coryn struggles toward her sister, she uncovers a group of people with a sinister agenda that may endanger Seacouver.

When Coryn does find her sister, Lou has secrets she won’t share. Can Coryn and Lou learn to trust each other in order to discover the truth hidden behind the surface and to save both Seacouver and the rewilded lands?

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Review of Wilders

Nature and progress collide, both subtly and violently. That is the short description of the events of Wilders. In a future where most people live in vast technologically advanced cities, the wilds outside the city are struggling to survive.

Coryn Williams has grown up in the city and, although she may not love it, she is very comfortable there. But her sister Lou, left several years ago to become part of the rewilding effort. In Wilders, Coryn leaves the city to find her sister and gets caught up in Lou’s life whether she wants to or not.

Coryn is young, just graduated from high school. However, Wilders does not read as a young adult. The storytelling is mature and complex and the characterizations are from an adult view. The occasional sibling arguments between Coryn and Lou remind you they are young, but do not overshadow the adult decisions and actions that both take.

And they have both made major decisions that will affect the rest of their lives and possibly those around them. While Lou seems to be aware of that, Coryn will take a while to figure it out. The journey of Coryn and Lou will take them from city to the outside and back to the city. Along they way, they will encounter danger, friends, enemies, hope and courage. If you accompany them, that journey will make you reflect on your own views of nature and cities and the people that dwell therein.

For my part, I wondered about philosophy of the cities and those that control them. Either you are in or you are out. People don’t really go back and forth. Neither seemed to be an ideal place to live – to me. The city was stifling and the wilds were often unpoliced. These are just a couple of observations. Any reader will have their own views depending on their background.

Before the events in Wilders, an ecological disaster nearly wiped out the wilds. Human-kind, recognizing that they need the wilds in order to survive, commissioned the rewilding efforts. Corporate foundations run the rewilding, but why? I would have liked to know more about what happened in the past. And how humans came to realize what they needed to do. Exactly what is that connection between nature and man’s continued existence? In Wilders, there is a lot of effort that goes into trying to maintain the wilds, but the story is lacking in motivation for that effort.

That effort, though, is noble and beautiful. One of my favorite scenes involves Lou showing her sister a vast herd of buffalo. A herd still at risk, but one of the most amazing things Coryn has ever seen. Nature has the ability to amaze me any day, so I could relate to the feelings experienced by Lou and Coryn.

The book is not just about restoring the natural balance. And this is the part that kept me reading. There are forces at play that will interfere with the rewilding efforts and much of the story is about confronting those forces. Resistance and intrigue will challenge Coryn and Lou as they try to reconcile their own relationship. And all the while, there are the usual power-plays that typically plague such a situation, with our heroines somehow planted in the middle.

Mostly, I think of Wilders as a story of progress verses nature. Technology can have both positive and negative influences on our lives and that is evident in the story. Nature is depicted as wild and beautiful, but not necessarily welcoming. This applies to both the natural world and human nature. If this sounds too philosophical, you might also consider that Wilders could be said to be a coming-of-age story for Coryn. She proved to be a most interesting character to follow and might have more of a story to tell in coming books in the Project Earth series.

The author provided a copy of Wilders in exchanged for an honest review.

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