Series: Feral Child Trilogy #1
Format Read: egalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
"Gripping, mystical and adventurous, young readers will be as hooked as Maddy was the minute she set foot inside that creepy as hell old castle," Irish World said of The Feral Child.
Maddy, an orphan, is sick of her Irish town, and sick of her cousin Danny, one of the nastiest people you could meet. Mad as hell one evening, she crawls inside the grounds of the castle, the one place she has always been forbidden to go. Once inside, she is chased by a strange feral boy, who she suspects is one of the faerie: cruel, fantastical people who live among humans and exchange local children for their own.
When the boy returns to steal her neighbor Stephen into his world, Maddy and her cousins set off on a terrifying journey into a magical wilderness, determined to bring him back home. To do so, they must face an evil as old as the earth itself.
Che Golden has created a gripping adventure that interweaves Maddy's modern Irish experience with the vivid fantasy of the region's ancient folklore. Readers will enjoy the frank and bold heroine of Maddy, and will be dazzled by The Feral Child's evocative rendering of Irish folklore and richly imagined alternate worlds.
I got this book because I liked the cover and the blurb called to me. I like when modern stories retain the feel of traditional fairy tales and keep the spirit of the fairies - tricksy, otherworldly, and not necessarily friendly.
We definitely got that in this book; these fae are not cute, cuddly, or lovable. They are clearly different from humans, not just in looks, but in thinking and behavior. That said, a few did try to help Maddy and her cousins in their quest and there were some similarities to humans. To be honest, I liked the fae more than I did the humans. Maddy's grandpa is scared and offers little help to Maddy when she becomes aware of the fae, while her grandmother just doesn't seem to understand Maddy, or children, at all. To be fair, they are all grieving the death of Maddy's parents and coping, or not coping, in different ways. I understood Maddy's anger and could empathize to a degree but I never really connected to her or any of the characters. Maddy was hard to to like at times, as was all of her family, and her aunt just seemed a bad caricature.
The blurb promises adventure and we get that for sure; Golden doesn't stint on scary scenes or action. Did I mention these fae are not nice? *shudder* What we don't get much of is character development. The only one who really undergoes any change is Maddy's cousin Danny and it wasn't believable. We get small hints of possible growth for Maddy but nothing that comes to fruition in this installment. There was a twist at the end that was a genuine twist and it might be enough for me to read book two, especially as I already have it.
I didn't love "The Feral Child", which is aptly titled, but it did hold my attention most of the time. It's dark, angsty, and full of wonderful traditional fairy tale details and themes.
My Friday 56 with The Feral Child