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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
Wilderness is the first book of The Survival Trilogy by James Brown that tells a dystopian fantasy story with a twist on vampires and werewolves. A group of teenagers is bunkered down in what used to be the high school, but now it’s their haven after the plague destroyed most of the population. The fence is all that protects them from the creatures that come out at night. They used to be human, but now there are two types of beasts out there that the teens must fight off every night to protect themselves. Unfortunately, the supposedly mindless creatures appear to be getting smarter. They are learning how to hide and sneak around, and it’s only a matter of time before they learn how to get into the school.
With perspective shifts between the different characters who feature in Wilderness, James Brown has thrown together a variety of personalities and relationships portrayed by the young adults who are trying to survive on their own during this apocalypse. From a conceited jerk to a boy dealing with unrequited love, there will be someone for everyone to love – or hate. I loved the youngest character, a twelve-year-old with some kind of developmental disability who has probably seen or learned about more than anyone can understand. With an ending that came way too soon and way too shockingly, I expect there will be much more action and adventure in the next installment of this series.