“Wilders” by Brenda Cooper focuses on young Coryn Williams, whose family disintegrates and leaves her alone with only her companion robot. Coryn needs more than just her running to satisfy her, and embarks on a dangerous journey to find her sister, who is involved in restoring the ecosystem…and maybe more.
This dystopian story has a young adult feel to it, but I am not sure whether that is the intention for the entire series, as the heroine is forced to mature over the course of this story. I had to take a break a couple of times with this tale. The premise is interesting, and a bit frightening, but Coryn has led a very sheltered life and is somewhat one-dimensional at first. Her relationship with her companion, Paula, and later with a dog she meets, plus her determination to find her sister, seem to define her at first. Her naivete is a bit dismaying and the people she meets, who all seem to have differing agendas, got a little overwhelming to me for a while.
Those with triggers should be advised that there is violence that shapes Coryn’s experiences, and many murky and undefined elements that gradually start making sense. This is the first book in the series, and the world-building is complex but nebulous since it is seen through Coryn’s eyes and she is often kept in the dark. I liked the creativity and the underlying message of how important it is to care for the creatures we share the planet with and I am hopeful that the revelations that this book ends with continue to unfold with the subsequent stories.
Coryn Williams has grown up in the megacity of Seacouver, where her every need is provided for—except satisfaction with her life. After her parents' suicides, her sister Lou fled the city to work on a rewilding crew, restoring lands once driven to the brink of ecological disaster by humans to a more natural state. Finally of age, Coryn leaves the city with her companion robot to look for her sister.
But the outside world is not what she expects—it is rougher and more dangerous, and while some people help her, some resent the city and some covet her most precious resource: her companion robot. As Coryn struggles toward her sister, she uncovers a group of people with a sinister agenda that may endanger Seacouver.
When Coryn does find her sister, Lou has secrets she won't share. Can Coryn and Lou learn to trust each other in order to discover the truth hidden behind the surface and to save both Seacouver and the rewilded lands?