Genres: Mystery, Magic, Horror,
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 21/10/2014
Find The Author: Website ¦ Twitter
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There’s something about
the swamp in Sticks, Louisiana. Something different, something haunting... something alive. Everyone knows this, and everyone avoids going
near it. And even the Mardi Gras–bead-decorated fence that surrounds it
keeps people away.
Until one morning when Sterling Saucier’s older brother Phineas runs into the swamp...
And doesn’t return.
a girl named Lenora May climbs out in his place, and all of a sudden,
no one in Sticks remembers Phin at all. They treat Lenora May as if
she’s been Sterling’s sister forever.
Sterling needs to figure
out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is
connected to his disappearance - but first she’s got to find someone who
Heath Durham might be that someone. A loner
shrouded behind rumors of drug addiction, Heath has had his own strange
experience with the swamp. He and Sterling will have to piece together
enough bits of memory and ancient swamp lore to get to the truth. But as
the wild swamp encroaches on their town, Sterling and Heath may find a
lot more than they expected... and Phin may be lost to them forever.
Beware The Wild definitely lives up to it's cover - this is a dark, creepy read that felt completely unique, I never felt like I'd read any parts of it before. The swamp and it's creatures themselves were grotesque and the story as a whole made me feel like this is something that Frances Hardinge fans would happily devour, much like the swamp does.
Sterling is my favourite type of character - complicated. She has a history of an abusive father and relies heavily on Phin to protect her. Hearing the news that he's leaving, she sinks into depression and forgets to eat, making her friends worried. Interestingly, her mother doesn't seem to notice this. Sterling is one of the most developed characters in this, she goes from lonely and depressed to happy and strong and I was happy when I left the book, knowing that she was going to be okay.
I had started avoiding the types of books that throw in a romance that seems unneeded, but this romance worked really well. I loved Heath and how he was willing to listen to Stirling's suggestions and go along with them and they worked really well as a couple. The other guy in Stirling's life, her brother Phin, I didn't really connect with, probably because most of his parts are just flashbacks.
Beware The Wild is a great mystery story that has a campfire tales feel about it. It was something I would love to see made as a movie. This is the author's debut, and she really has a knack for storytelling. I can't wait to read more from her!