Book Review

Review – The Wild Ones by Alexander London

This was my first foray, as an adult, into Middle Grade fiction. Why did I pick it up now? To be honest, I picked it up because Alexander London was so nice when I met him at the North Texas Teen Book Fest back in March. (It’s going to be in April next year, I highly encourage attending, it’s amazing!) Also, it was in the box of books my mother-in-law brought home to read over the summer.

When a country raccoon used to a soft life winds up all alone in the big city, there’s no telling what he’ll do to survive — and to save his fellow wild animals in the process.
Kit, a young raccoon, has lived his whole life under the Big Sky in the comfort of his parents’ burrow. But when a pack of hunting dogs destroy his home and kill his parents, Kit finds himself in Ankle Snap Alley, a city in the midst of a turf war between the Wild Ones and the people’s pets who call themselves The Flealess. There he follows the clues his parents left behind to uncover the secret that they died for–the existence of an ancient truce that gives Ankle Snap Alley to the Wild Ones. But The Flealess will stop at nothing to keep that secret buried forever–and Kit is in serious danger. (Goodreads)

Overall, I enjoyed The Wild Ones. It was fun to dive into this anthropomorphic tale and cheer for Kit as he learned to navigate Ankle Snap Alley, to not trust just anyone, and to make the most out of his life–howl to snap. I give it 4 stars!

Positive:

  • I really liked the adventure itself–from Kit leaving the Big Sky to getting mixed up with the Blacktail brothers to searching for the Bone of Contention to the very end. 
  • I liked the friendship between Kit and Eeni.
  • I’m guessing this might have been because of the age range, but honestly I found it refreshing to read something that lacked a romantic plot/sub-plot.
  • I enjoyed the names of the characters, especially those that were named based on their appearance or their species. Sixclaw, for example, was a cat with six claws on one of his paws.
  • I also enjoyed the way the world was portrayed from the animals’ viewpoint.
  • I liked when the Flealess and The Wild Ones came head-to-head, but that’s all I’ll say since it’s toward the end 😉
  • I thought the exploration of finding one’s community and how a community can be made up of lots of different characters was appropriate.
  • I thought the need for details and character development was met and quite balanced for readers at the targeted audience age. Enough to tell the story, but not so much that they can’t follow it.

Negative:

  • I read an ARC of the book, so sadly I didn’t get the benefit of the beautiful cover or the art inside.
  • There were times when I thought the book started to sound a little preachy, but perhaps for the age range it is needed more than it might be in a book for an older audience.
  • I was actually surprised by some of the content of the book in regards to violence/hunting/war/torture/death. While not necessarily bad or bothersome to me, it was just unexpected (perhaps because of my lack of knowledge of the MG genre).

Have you read The Wild Ones? What did you think about it?

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