January 9, 2015

e-ARC Review of Beware the Wild by Natalie Parker

Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 336
Format: e-ARC
Genre: YA
It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.
Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her. 
This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance
*an e-ARC of this book was given to me via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review*

After the last book that I read that turned out horrible *cough* The Prey *cough* Beware The Wild was definitely better but wasn't anything special either. It's not that the book was bad but it wasn't that good either, it was OK.

Beware the Wild didn't have much going on in the settings department (another reason why I love fantasy books so much), it takes place around a swamp that is near a small town. The swamp basically steals people or their souls and they completely disappear. No memories, mentions, or anything to show that they ever existed. I personally found that to be a nice dark twist in the plot and to how the book develops. The beginning of Beware the Wild did drag on, there wasn't much going on that was scary, or creepy so it felt strained. One part of the beginning that annoyed me was when Sterling was in the swamp and meets someone who seems nice so just like that she's relaxed and not scared. You would think that if you were in a swamp that you didn't know very well you would know not to trust random people in it but I guess she didn't feel that way. Thankfully, as the book progressed into the second half it started perking up, especially as the "bad guy's" actual motives started to be revealed. The characters were also in the OK range with the main character, Sterling, being stubborn and not listening. As well as trusting random people that she meets in a swamp like I mentioned before. Heath, Candy, and all the other secondary characters did their part and they came together in the end to win their fight with the "bad guy." A ragtag group of friends doing a ragtag job.

If the genre were different I might have liked Beware The Wild more but the author definitely shows some skill that can be improved even more to be a good horror author. This didn't really feel like horror to me but people who like the genre will probably enjoy the book more than me. While I'm not sure what I would do if a sequel came out I'll keep an eye out for this author.

3/5 - OK book

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