Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Wild Child by Mike Wells

Title: Wild Child
Author: Mike Wells
This eBook is FREE! Get your copy here.

Wild Child is a fast paced novella by author Mike Wells. Honestly I found this book to be a great, rough read with lots of potential, which is why I give it 3.4/5-stars.

The story is about Kyle Dunlap (Jr.) and his best friend, Briana Fox, who, while swimming in the lake in their town, meets with a horrible accident. Gravely injured, Briana manages to fight her way to a mysterious spring hidden deep under the lake that washes away all her wounds and leaves her in a euphoric high—but the cure is far from permanent.

In an attempt by Kyle to determine why the spring had this effect, a pair of government agents learns of this strange water, and now will stop at nothing to have it in their grasps. Kyle must choose: tell the agents what they want to know, and possibly lose his best friend forever, or protect the secret of the spring.

Overall I thought the plot was well developed and moved along smoothly. There were a few small things here or there that, to me, felt out of place, or just did not compute. For instance, I could be wrong, but I did not know that Jeeps could jump over short walls when in four-wheel drive.

My main criticisms, however, lie with character development and dialogue. Not the leads, they were great.

Kyle is a strong character and a loyal friend (perhaps to a fault). He stands up for Briana throughout the book, even if he doesn't agree with her. You can tell he genuinely cares for her, and wants to be sure of her safety.

Briana, on the other hand, is reckless, stubborn, and holds Kyle in the palm of her hands.

The issues I have are more with the secondary characters. Particularly the dynamic duo of governmental authority known only as Brains and Brawn.

Strong primary characters are good to have, and the author did an excellent job there, but a main character needs a good, strong supporting cast. And I did not feel like the author delivered on these two.

From their first appearance where they refused to say anything about themselves other than that they "represented the United States government" (when asked if they worked for a particular branch, their response? "That is none of your concern." Hmmm...fishy. I wonder if the author even knows?) and that they wanted to know the source of the water, to their two-dimensional good-cop/bad-cop routine, I was left feeling that interactions and dialogue exchanged with these two characters felt stiff and, at times, forced.

I did, however, like that this book was full of action; the story was original, and just flowed—you had to know what would happen next. And that ending? Wow. I can't say I was as surprised by it as some, but I can see how they would be. Kyle must make an impossible choice, and I think that was the perfect ending for this book.

If you don't mind your stories a little rough around the edges, I recommend giving this one a chance. It's a fast read, and you won't regret it!


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