Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Publication Date: October 21st 2014
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
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
Beware the Wild was everything I hoped and wanted The Drowned Forest to be, enough strange to be charming, enough weird to be strange and enough just is to not be religious. There is religion, it's set in a very religious town, but it wasn't exactly present in the story or focus of it. To which, I'm thankful of. It started off pretty quick, a lot quicker than I was expecting, and maybe that's why it dipped in the middle a little, it started the engine before you'd even shut the door, but it got me hooked so it done its job, and I'm not faulting it on that. The story was great , and the idea of it was fun, someone close to you disappearing and you being the only one to remember them, and the fact that the whole town and their lives carrying on as if that person never even existed, and in Sterling's case, having someone replacing her brother- as a sister, It also very authentic to the setting. But, I am however, faulting it on a few things.
While the plot and story in Beware the Wild was everything I wanted it to be, the characters, especially Sterling, was not. I'm conflicted with her, and I'm a character driven reader and so I'm on the fence, which is horrible when it's the perspective of that character. In the beginning, I liked her. Then she'd say something or do something that made me change my mind. Again and again, over and over, but she got stronger, and by the end while she wasn't entirely annoying or self involved, she gained the respect she thought she was owed. I liked Heath, too, sure enough, but he didn't feel that well rounded, was there, wasn't there. Only there as a supportive and didn't seem like an actual character. The same with Phin, who's the reason Sterling was dragged into the whole swamp thing, you got to hear about him, didn't see and again, just felt like a presence more than an actual character.
The one thing that irked me a little though was no explanation of the swamp whatsoever- was it the towns people fear that made it what it was? That their fear manifested into something of power. As it is addressed, fear does have power. But, there was no definite why, which in a way, added the mysteriousness to it, and gave it that edge it needed, but the other way, left me with questions. There is a reason for why the swamp got to be something else other than what it was, though. which is twisted and very inventive and out there but it's crazy enough that you just have to believe it. The other thing, that didn't annoy me as much as more angered me, was the way an maybe eating disorder was written in light as a way of a reason to help the story along in a major way. Didn't like it. At all. Along with the romance that kind of made me gag in places because of the cheese, but let's not get into that.
Beware the Wild lived up to my expectations in aspects weird and strange that kept the ball rolling and saved it for me, there was some inconsistencies that kept me from loving it.