Wild Children by Richard RobertsBad children are punished. Be bad, a child is told, and you’ll be turned into an animal, marked with your crime.
The Wild Children are forever young, but that, too, can be a curse.
Five children each tell a different story of what they became:
One learns that wrong can be right, and her curse may be a blessing.
Another is so Wild he must learn the simplest lesson, to love someone else.
An eight year old girl must face fear and doubt as she dies of old age.
Love and strangeness hit the lives of two brothers in the form of a beautiful flaming bird.
Finally, the oldest child learns that what is right can be horribly wrong.
Together they tell a sixth story, of a Wild Girl who can’t speak for herself, and doesn’t seem Wild at all.
Firstly, before I go on, I must say that I didn't finish this book, because I expected a book about a group of five children on an adventure to save the last Wild Child. Instead, after reading the first story, I realized it was a bunch of stories about five Wild Children, all written separately. Nevertheless, I continued on with reading it, until I finished the third story, where I couldn't take having to read about a new scenario
I liked the complex ideas Richard Roberts writes about in this book. I loved how only children could change, and be a half-human, half-animal creature. It was a really nice concept, one that intrigued me. In doing this, Roberts dips into religion frequently, but somehow, he has the art of not being able to offend readers by talking about religion.
The first story I read tells of how a girl became a Wild Child, and her love and devotion for her caretaker. I loved this story. I absolutely did. It was heart-wrenching, and it told of a child's innocence and trust. I felt like this was a beautiful story. It introduces the concept of the Wild Child really well.
The second story in this book, one about Jinx, the black cat Wild Child who fell in love with a donkey Wild Child. This.... Well... This story partially reminded me of Twilight, and Jinx, or Edward Cullen. Eating dreams, watching a sleeping girl... Well, maybe Edward doesn't eat dreams, but for me, the stark comparison between Edward and Jinx became clear when I read about Jinx and his thing for Hind.
Finally, the last story I read was one about Coo, the dove frequently mentioned in the first and second stories. I liked Coo. I dunno, but she kinda inspired a bit of hope for me, like the goodness inside of her. Her story was finally being told, and after the first two stories, I was already getting curious about her, from repeated mentions of her in the book. Coo just comes off as ethereal and unearthly, and she inspired curiosity in me.
Roberts writes in a descriptive manner, where words just flow out of the page. Instead of hindering the reader, like how some descriptions do, the descriptions in this book aid the reader, through the wide, magnificent and emotion-prodding vocabulary that Roberts uses. Read this passage for example:
"My heart was so light that there was a thump, and flames burst up out of me, swam around me, and I leapt off the floor. The ceiling was no obstacle. I was too hot, and it simply fell out of my way as ash."
Isn't it beautiful? You can literally imagine it!
In the end, I rate this book a 3 stars out of 5. It is unique, and it is unlikely I will come across any book quite like it again. The reason I've rated it a 3 stars out of 5, is mainly because I felt like this book was not my book. I struggled to read through a bit of this book, mainly because it was just not the type of book I would usually read.
Keep reading and loving books,
(I got a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley)