My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I came to ‘The Last Wild’ a little blindly. I was conscious that it was a Carnegie nominee for 2014 and that I’d seen a lot of positive talk online about it. And that was pretty much it, and now that I have finished it, I am wondering how best to phrase my feelings about this painterly, immense book.
I think, firstly, it’s useful to know that it’s the first in a series. That I found the ending difficult in that sort of ‘but – but – a sequel?’ sort of thing. A part of me longs for self-contained books in the way that Rooftoppers is and I long for that because I’m a selfish reader. At heart, I think that’s the best way to describe it. I want the story and I want it all and I want it there and then.
And when it is written with such wild imagination and vivid skill as Torday’s ‘The Last Wild’, the knowledge that this story is not ended and that there is more to come is both a wonderful and awful thing to deal with as a selfish reader.
This book is very good. It is wild storytelling (I keep using wild, and I do not know how else to phrase it, it is storytelling on the edge of things, on that blurry edge and it is good and thrilling and wild). The more that I think about it, the more I start to situate this book in a sort of British animal children’s literary canon (and god, how I wish I could phrase that more cogently but I will let it stand). There are moments in this book that sing, so evocatively and so gracefully, moments that sing of Colin Dann and Richard Adams and of Ted Hughes. Moments that are rooted in land and wing, moments of kingmaking and of destiny, and of becoming who you were always meant to be.
I loved The Last Wild and I am full of hate and love for the fact that I have to wait for more.
**edit** Just reserved the sequels from my local library! Libraries are AMAZING. Have I mentioned this? ***edit***