The first words I spoke to my 3 sons this morning went like this: ‘I finished the last wild last night. You neeeeeeeeeed to read it!’
The Last Wild is the debut novel of author, Piers Today, and was a gift to one of my boys at Christmas. Having read the blurb during the holidays and thinking it sounded interesting, I picked it up again the other day and it became my first read of 2016. And what a book to kick-start a new year with… it is fantastic, funny, smart and exciting… all the positive words!
The Last Wild tells the story of 12 – just about to be 13 year old, Kester Jaynes, and follows him on a pacey adventure from being a nobody to being a true victorious hero. We find out in the early pages of the novel that Kester has a remarkable gift (sorry, no spoilers… you will just have to read it for yourself to find out what it is) and it is this special ability that sends him off on a journey filled with trials which he has to overcome if he is to save the last wild.
Piers does a wonderful, magical job of setting his scene. The way he writes makes it so easy to imagine the places that Kester travels through and to immerse oneself right in the story alongside Kester and his growing group of supporters. As he travels, more are added to his number, giving a lonely boy a family and a reason to keep on pursuing his goal of finding a cure for the disease that has killed nearly all of the animals on the planet – he is their only hope!
I can only assume this book was written for children, but it is far from being simplistic and it never talks down. The language is poetic and crisp all at once, there is a real purity in Kester’s voice and in his focus on his mission – starkly contrasted by the world he finds himself living in. Many issues are also dealt with a along the way – loss and grief, self belief, looking after our environment, friendship, trust and perseverance to name just a few. This is a book that takes you on a wild adventure of highs and lows and you may have to wipe away a few tears along the way, but even after the last word is read, it stays with you, like its essence has been absorbed by your soul, continuing to make you think.
In a world full of gadgets and technology, The Last Wild, takes you back to nature and asks ‘what is the world going to look like in the future if man keeps on polluting and destroying it?’ …. ‘will there be any animals left?’ …it challenges and it provokes, and yet is never preachy, and to my mind that can only be a good thing. I am so excited for my children to read this wonderful book and I am off out to purchase the sequel The Dark Wild!
If you want to know more about the author you can visit his website at http://www.pierstorday.co.uk or find him on Twitter at @PiersTorday