Book Review: Wild Children

Wild Children CoverBook: Wild Children by Richard Roberts

Published December 2012 by Curiosity Quills|Pages: 346

E-book from NetGalley

Series: None

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Goodreads|Richard Roberts’ Blog

Summary: Bad children are punished. Be bad, a child is told, and you’ll be turned into an animal, marked with your crime.
The Wild Children are forever young, but that, too, can be a curse.

Five children each tell a different story of what they became:

– One learns that wrong can be right, and her curse may be a blessing.
– Another is so Wild he must learn the simplest lesson, to love someone else.
– An eight year old girl must face fear and doubt as she dies of old age.
– Love and strangeness hit the lives of two brothers in the form of a beautiful flaming bird.
– Finally, the oldest child learns that what is right can be horribly wrong.

Together they tell a sixth story, of a Wild Girl who can’t speak for herself, and doesn’t seem Wild at all.

For most of Wild Children, I wasn’t sure what to think but after finishing it, I ended up really liking it!  It’s definitely different from anything else I’ve read, and in a good way!

It’s told by several wild children, and I was glad that the story was pretty fluid.  While there are 6 different stories going on, they worked really well together, and it was nice seeing the main story told from 5 different perspectives.  What’s interesting is that Wild Children alternates between the narrators but not in a way I was expecting.  While I’ve read books where each chapter is narrated by someone different, the characters who narrate Wild Children get their own section.  Each character has their own story that stands on its own pretty well but come together to tell the story of a sixth Wild Child.  While the whole of their story finishes with their section, they do make appearances throughout the book.  It took some time getting used to, but after finishing, I can’t see it being told any other way.

The premise for Wild Children is also different, and I really liked the idea of becoming a Wild Child.  It’s another great thing about this book, and I definitely haven’t read anything like it before.  There were times when I felt like there was a lot going on.  I’m not going to get all deep or anything, since I was just taking everything in.  I think Wild Children is a book that has a lot to it, and needs more than one or two reads to fully appreciate the work Richards put into the book.

I also liked the setting and overall feel of the book.  While I’m not completely sure of the time period- because Wild Children is fantasy- there’s something medieval-esque about the book.  Definitely gothic and not set in a recent time period.  Either way, there’s something…dark…about Wild Children.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t really looking at themes or metaphors or any social commentary Roberts could be making.  It’s not something I tend to think about when I’m reading, but I think there’s enough to think about in Wild Children that you could do so if that’s what you really want to do.

Final Thoughts:

Wild Children is definitely unique, and it’s one of the most unique books I’ve read.  What’s interesting about Wild Children is that it’s a book where I wasn’t sure if I liked it or if it was just okay while I was reading it…but something I really liked when I finished because I saw how five different stories came together to tell one story.  I didn’t love it, but it’s still a book that I really like.  Wild Children gets 4 stars.


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