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A brilliant short story!
Wild Child - Mike Wells
Member Name: ms_123
Wild Child - Mike Wells
Advantages: A real page turner
Disadvantages: a little short
Since buying my Kindle I have found myself browsing the Amazon top 100 free book listing as not only is it great to get a freebie but also allows me to try new authors and genres that I would not normally read. One of the books I came across last week was Wild Child written by Mike Wells. The blurb sounded interesting enough for me to hit the download button.
The book started with an interesting background written by the author entitled 'How 3000 copies of Wild Child found their way from the trash bin to the top of the Amazon bestseller list.' This is basically the story of how Wild Child was written and how the author had difficulty getting the story published. Basically, although they agreed it was very well written, due to the fact that it was a short story publishers were reluctant to publish this. Mike Wells then tried to publish this himself and gets 3000 copies of the book printed after getting a local high school student to design the front cover. However his circumstances soon changed and he moved abroad for work leaving the 3000 books in storage with his stepfather who was not too pleased at these taking up his valuable garage space.
After several months his stepfather decided to throw these out with the general rubbish. However to the author's utter amazement someone pulled these from the rubbish and started to sell them on Amazon.com! With the advent of e-readers like the Kindle Mike Wells decided to convert this to e-book format and within a few months this book had climbed to number 3 of the Amazon top sellers list! I found this to be an amazing story in itself and shows the power that the advent of e-readers has on allowing new, struggling authors to publish.
Anyway back to the book instead! Wild Child is a short story aimed at teenagers and young adults. Kyle and Briana (Brie) have been close friends since high school although Kyle's father would rather they did not hang out together as he feels Brie is a bad influence. Briana is a headstrong girl, full of life and is a bit of a risk taker. One afternoon whilst hanging out on Kyle's father's boat Brie challenges Kyle to a swimming race. However she is injured in a horrific accident when she is run over by another speedboat. Fearing the worst Kyle searches in vain for her but Brie is nowhere to be found.
Unbeknown to him Brie finds a cave at the bottom of the lake in which she discovers the mysterious 'green water' that saves her life. Drinking some of this gives Brie a new lease of life and her cuts miraculously heal. However the effect is short lived and Brie becomes dependent on the 'green water' in order to survive. It's not long before Government agents cotton on to their discovery of the magical water and Brie is admitted to hospital for further 'tests'. Can Kyle protect Brie and keep her from becoming a permanent human experiment? I'll leave you to read this and find out!
Wild Child was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was well written and fast paced and after reading a few pages I was totally engrossed. I normally spend around half and hour or so reading before going to bed but with this book I completely lost track of time and found myself still reading an hour and a half later! In total I read this book in a couple of sittings and had read the whole book in a couple of hours!
The characters were well written and I found the contrast between Brie's character before the accident and when she has just had her 'fix' of green water and then how she weakens as the effects wear off and becomes quite dependent on Kyle. Kyle initially comes off as a bit of a weak character in the sense that he is easily led. However when forced to he quickly takes control of the situation and fights Brie's corner. The continuously changing power balance between the two characters was very interesting to read. There were some really exciting moments and I found myself whizzing through the pages to try and learn how the story progresses.
My only niggle was that this was quite a short story. The ending also seemed to leave the story unresolved which frustrated me until I discovered that there is a sequel. However given the fact that it is also written as a short story the price at £4.99 does seem a little steep. It would have been great had the two stories been combined to give a more substantial read. However I shall be keeping an eye on the sequel to see if it becomes available on the free list or lowers in price in which case I shall have no hesitation in purchasing.
Summary: A great short story (with an interesting backstory of its own!)