Friday, July 19, 2019

Guy Friday- The Wild Lands

Greci, Paul. The Wild Lands
January 29th 2019 by Imprint
Library copy

Travis and his family stayed in their home in Alaska after the government evacuated everyone, but this was a mistake. Not only is the government not sustaining infrastructure anymore, but they are also actively discouraging people from living there, since there is no more oil to be taken. When Travis' family starts to run out of food since there are no more fish to be caught, they try to make there way to the south. Because supplies are so scarce, people have become barbaric. The family meets up with a group of people, but the parents end up dead. Travis and his sister, ten-year-old Jess, must try to survive on their own. It's hard to trust anyone, but they do end up with some teen boys, as well as a group of girls from a badly run foster facility. Despite their best efforts, many end up dead, either because of natural disasters or horrible humans. Travis and Jess manage to survive, and do meet a few nicer people. They, along with Tam, end up in a community that one of the boys, Dylan, had mentioned, but it turns out to be a very controlling group of men who arrange marriages for the women of child bearing age. Travis knows he needs to get Jess out of there, but without resources, it's very difficult. Even if they survive, what are their chances in this post-apocalyptic world?
Strengths: Well, I'm surprised I have any fingernails left, and let me tell you, there will be no salmon for dinner for a long time! This book had a chilling immediacy that had me turning the pages very quickly. Greci does a great survival book, (Surviving Bear Island) and there are tons of details about all the ways one can perish in the Alaskan wilderness. This also reminded me a little of Z for Zachariah (1974)  by Robert C. O'Brien, which was an unchacteristically dark book for me to read in middle school, but one that definitely stuck with me. This will be a steady circulator.
Weaknesses: This is more of a Young Adult book, with tiny print, a high body count, and an f-bomb deep in the book. Still, this is absolutely perfect for readers who liked Eric Walters' The Rule of Three. In fact, I have a rising 9th grader I desperately need to hand this to, but I'll never see him again. Is it weird if I e mail his mother about it?
What I really think: Glad I purchased. The mix of survival with dystopia is an appealing mix with a solid core of devotees.

Ms. Yingling

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