Friday, May 17, 2019

Alaskan Debut Novel One Strange Ride

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Tracy Petrikoff would rather be out in the thick woods surrounding her Alaskan home than anywhere else.  Especially school.  The 17-year-old can't stand being trapped inside when there is a forest to explore, food to be hunted and gathered, and training to be done for the Iditarod.  As soon as she turns 18, Tracy plans not only to enter the race but also to become a dog sled racing champion like her father.  

When strange things start happening in the forest, Tracy feels decidedly unsettled.  Then a teenage boy comes wondering out of the trees, looking for work.  Although Tracy's father hires him on the spot, Tracy can't get a handle on the odd stranger.  She becomes especially nervous as the boy worms his way into the Petrikoffs' insulated lives.  Tracy knows Jesse is hiding something, but what?  With her senses sharply honed from a lifetime of stalking animals, Tracy knows danger is near.  Is the trouble coming from without?  Or, much more likely, from within?  

It's tough to describe The Wild Inside, a debut novel by Jamey Bradbury.  On one hand, it's an atmospheric thriller which is both unique and compelling.  On the other hand, it's an odd, unsettling, often nauseating story that is sometimes so blood-soaked it made me want to vomit.  I enjoyed learning about what it takes to compete in the Iditarod and I would have found this book much more appealing had it just been a story of a plucky teenage girl determined to win the big race.  Instead, The Wild Inside takes some weird turns that left me scratching my head.  Overall, the novel is depressing, and, in the end, just felt pointless.  The plot engaged me enough that I finished the book, but man, what a strange read!  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Wild Inside from the generous folks at HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like the Iditarod sounds like a super interesting part of the story, but the rest sounds too icky.

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  2. If it'd just been about a girl racing in the Iditarod I'd want to read it, but it sounds like it takes a really strange and dark turn, so I'm not sure I'll bother.

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  3. It sounds very intriguing, but probably not for me. Wonderful review.

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  4. I am always fascinated by the Iditarod. But blood and gore sometimes get to me too. You have me intrigued by the weird turns....

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