The Wilds by Donna Augustine, narrated by Angel Clark #AudioReview

The Wilds by Donna Augustine, narrated by Angel Clark #AudioReviewThe Wilds by Donna Augustine

Narrator: Angel Clark
Series: #1 The Wilds
Genres: YA Dystopian
Published by Small Publisher on December 28, 2015
Length: 7 hours 47 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
  add to goodreads
four-half-stars      one-flame

I saw this book reviewed by Debbie @ The Reading Frenzy blog and it sounded fantastic.  Imagine my thrill when I won an audio copy of this intense and intriguing YA Dystopian.

The world of this story is in our future after a plague hits the world and decimates the population only to return every twenty years or so.  Old government and society falls only for new city-state governments to take over in certain parts of the world and the rest left to become The Wilds where might tends to make right.  The plague kills most of those infected, but a rare few survived and are known as Plaguers.  These people are reviled and thought to be carriers and lose their minds.  But unknown to most, plaguers are no longer infectious and are not crazy.  Plaguers gain some psychic skills and have the ability to see another kind of non-human that looks human and walks among them- the Dark Walkers.

The story opens with Dahlia an eighteen year old girl who was institutionalized at four years old by her own parents.  Inside the institution built to contain plaguers and others with mental issues, she grows up learning to be tough physically and mentally because a dark walker is in charge there and Dahlia is subject to her psychotic and sadistic whims.  Dahlia must hold strong and never crack under the pressure.  She has made her plans of escape for her and her friends, but it will not be easy and she must wait her chance for the conditions to be right.

But suddenly out of the blue a stranger breaks in and whisks her away.  Dahlia does not trust this Dak and his other companions who take her into the Wilds.  Dak has an agenda and apparently he needs a plaguer to accomplish it.  Dahlia goes along with his plans because it is where she wants to be until he reveals that he wants her to identify Dark Walkers.  That’s when a new game of mental tug of war begins and Dahlia must get back to her own plans to rescue her friends while keeping from fulfilling her part of the bargain to Dak.  Something is up with him.  She is intrigued, but he is a tough one to get around.  He is cold and determined on his path and she must learn to have that sort of strength to survive in the Wilds.

Alright, this was an exciting blend of dystopian, intrigue, and the whiff of a romance starting up.  I loved how the world is built and the characters are set up.  Dak is a mystery all of his own as is what is so special about Dahlia’s plaguer abilities.  Even by the end of this first book, not everything is out in the open though good gravy that big reveal right at the end was a huge tease if not an actual cliff hanger.

I got vested in Dahlia’s story early on. She has suffered and survived a great deal, but once she is free, she still has a whole lot to learn.  She is arrogant and gutsy.  She is so excited to be free and determined to really live that she makes impetuous decisions that aren’t very bright, but come from a good place.  Slowly she learns from her mistakes and as she trusts Dak and the others to teach her.  Dak is such an enigma, but he tends to keep too much to himself and that is what drives Dahlia crazy.  He expects trust and her to share, but doesn’t reciprocate.

I found the tension and pacing worked well keeping me right in this story.  I didn’t want to stop listening.

And yes, it was well narrated by Angel Clark.  Her Dahlia voice was spot on.  I liked how she told the story and infused emotion without overdoing it.  She did pacing and tone so well that I was seeing this story well.

All in all this was great and I can’t wait to continue on to see what comes next for Dahlia and the rest of the survivors there in the Wilds.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #235 YA
Audio #29
New to Me #97 author/series

The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • This sound like a good one. I’ve seen several reviews for this book and all have been good so far.

    • I am so glad I got the chance. I was riveted to Dahlia’s adventures in The Wilds.

  • I saw this book on The Reading Frenzy too. I even have a copy of it. I still need to listen to it. I will have to do that very soon. So glad you enjoyed it.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Oh man, I have so many waiting for me to read and listen to. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Great review and thanks for the shout out Sophia Rose 🙂 I discovered Donna when I got a copy of Karma from her last series. I agree with you about the world building in The Wilds I hope you read the others in the series, The Hunt and The Dead are out now and she’ll soon be releasing the next book in the series. I’m excited to see where she leads Dax and Del.

    • You’re so welcome. 😉 I enjoy encountering new to me books and authors through my blog visits and I’ve gotten some from Reading Frenzy. I got The Hunt. I just need to read it now. I’m excited about that pair, too.

  • First I have read anything about this book and it sounds amazing. I’ve really been getting into dysptopian books and YA for that matter, so this is right up my alley. Good world building is just the icing on the cake! Great review!

    • For sure, Lorna! I’ve gotten into the YA Dystopian genre, too. These are so exciting and I love the creative world building.

  • Huh. I don’t recall seeing this book before. Sounds great, though!

    • I was happy to notice it on Debbie’s blog and enjoyed it a lot.

  • I’ve heard nothing but good about this one. I’m picking up more dystopians lately so will have to add this to the future list 😀 The cover still makes me giggle since it’s the same as the bigfoot one. Heh

    • Oh lord! I know which one you’re talking about. Yeah, now that’s a mental picture that has me giggling.