Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Wild Horse Book Review and Giveaway

This morning, we are excited to share our review of a young adult, dystopian novelette.  What did I think of Wild Horse by Kyle Richardson?  Learn about the novelette and the author, read my thoughts and an excerpt from the book--and be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

WILD HORSE (a novelette) by Kyle Richardson
GENRE: Dystopian, Superhero, YA, Novelette

About the Book

Grady has found a crack in the wall—a crack to the outside world. But all he knows about life outside the compound comes from books, magazines, and a photograph of a creature that no longer exists. Things change when he meets a girl with raspberry-yellow hair, and a secret that could lead them to a world beyond the walls. A world where their abilities could change everything … or lead them both to ruin.

Read an Excerpt

Grady finds it in the spring, when the leaves are sprouting from the trees in tiny pink-green buds. There are no trees in the courtyard, there's only dirt and rocks and other kids that look like Grady—their heads shaven, their clothes loose and gray, the skin under their eyes a creamy blue and red. But Grady has found a crack in the wall, a crack that wasn't there before—a crack that isn't supposed to be. Whenever the guards aren't looking, he leans his face against the wall and peers through the crack at the world outside. He does this with his left eye first. Always his left eye first. The gap is so tiny it's like squinting through a nostril. But in that nostril there's the sky, purple as a bruise, and beneath it there are scrawny trees with tiny pink-green buds. Today the trees bend and sway, like they know Grady's watching. Like they're dancing just for him. And his cracked lips spread until he's smiling, big and dumb.

This is when he hears the voice. "What're you looking at?" The voice comes from behind him, small and smooth and wild, like the picture of the horse taped to the ceiling above his cot. It knocks something loose in him, something that tumbles free, something that falls but doesn't seem to ever land. Whatever it is, it just keeps on falling, lost somewhere inside him. Grady frowns and squirms, but the stupid feeling doesn't quit. "Go away," he tells the voice. He doesn't bother to turn. "I'm looking at spring," he adds, "but you wouldn't know what that is."

The voice that's like a wild horse, it tells him, "I do too know what spring is. And I know that you're mean and I don't like you." Then the voice is gone, and a guard walks by, and Grady looks away from the wall as if the crack isn’t there at all. And stomping away from him straight across the courtyard, like she's trying to knock the world off orbit with the weight of her footsteps alone, is a skinny girl with loose gray clothes and raspberry-yellow hair.

Grady raises his eyebrows. Whatever that thing is inside him, it tumbles even faster.

My Review

Wild Horse offers a fast-paced, end of the world adventure. The novelette is a quick read that manages to pack a lot of dystopian adventure, futuristic fiction, and emotion into its pages. Readers may not know the details behind the world's current state or the root of the problems affecting the survivors--but, the story develops around (and grows beyond) the relationship between two of those survivors.

The author quickly creates well-developed characters. In spite of the novelette's length, the author allows readers to see characters who grow and change in response to the setting and their experiences. Readers will find themselves rooting for a happy ending for Grady. After watching him grow, change, suffer loss and defeat--the conclusion opens an unexpected door for him. His character remains true to his nature, and the author does a beautiful job creating the storyline through Grady.

Wild Horse leaves readers with questions and hope.
Readers will leave the novelette wondering what happens to the characters and their world. In spite of that uncertainty, there remains a bit of hope for the future of humanity.

Would I recommend Wild Horse? Wild Horse is a well-done novelette that jumps into the storyline offering strong characters and a futuristic, end of humanity scenario. For readers who need to know every detail--it may seem abrupt as this story leaves a lot to the reader's imagination. For readers who enjoy stories about facing adversity and remaining hopeful--this novel should quickly strike a chord. I would have enjoyed a longer story--not because I felt that I was missing anything--but, because I enjoyed Grady's perspective and would have loved to follow him through the rest of his journey. If you enjoy young adult dystopian thrillers with a faster pace--this novelette is one for your reading list.

Buy the Book 

About the Author

Kyle lives in the suburban wilds of Canada with his adorable wife, their rambunctious son, and their adventurous daughter. He writes about shapeshifters, superheroes, and the occasional clockwork beast, moonlights as an editor at Meerkat Press, and has a terrible habit of saying the wrong thing at the most inopportune moments. His short fiction has appeared in places such as Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology and Daily Science Fiction.

Connect with the Author

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