I'll be honest and tell you that I have loved
Charles de Lint's writing ever since I read Moonheart in 1993. Over the intervening years, his work has lost none of it's appeal.
The story is set in modern day Santa Felix. Ov the past few months, something has been happening to its teens. They have been turning into animals. Wild animals, though they have the choice to become human once again. The government wants to kids to surrender to the authorities for their own safety. They claim to want to teach them how to handle their new abilities. There are also stories of private companies wanting the kids such that they can use their skills for devious purposes.
Teenages already have to deal with their maturing bodies, developing relationships with their peers and finding their place in society. The teens of Santa Felix has the added challenge of either dealing with how changing to an animal affects all aspects of their lives, or they have to deal with those around them changing. Do they accept it or do they fear it. Who can they trust with this information.
I enjoyed the struggle that Josh was having with regard to his new identity. Like many teens, he had a distrust of adults and instead, turned to his friends for help. His long time friends Marina and Des have their own views on the Wildings, the teens who have changed.
This book by Mr. de Lint did not dissappoint. It might have bee written with a teen audience in mind, but there is enough detail and character development to appeal to adult readers. I am looking forward to the further adventures of the teens of Santa Felix.
Thanks to Penguin Books for my review copy and for the use of the cover image.